Active neutron interrogation experiments and simulation verification using the SIngle-scintillator Neutron and Gamma-Ray spectrometer (SINGR) for geosciences

L. E. Heffern, C. J. Hardgrove, A. Parsons, E. B. Johnson, R. Starr, G. Stoddard, R. E. Blakeley, T. Prettyman, T. S.J. Gabriel, Hugh Barnaby, J. Christian, M. A. Unzueta, C. Tate, A. Martin, J. Moersch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present a new SIngle-scintillator Neutron and Gamma-Ray spectrometer (SINGR) instrument for use with both passive and active measurement techniques. Here we discuss, the application of SINGR for planetary exploration missions; however, hydrology, nuclear non-proliferation, and resource prospecting are all potential areas where the instrument could be applied. SINGR uses an elpasolite scintillator, Cs2YLiCl6:Ce (CLYC), that has been shown to have high neutron efficiency even at small volumes, with a gamma-ray energy resolution of approximately 4% full-width-at-half-maximum at 662 keV. Active gamma-ray and neutron (GRNS) measurements were performed with SINGR at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) outdoor test site using a pulsed neutron generator (PNG) to interrogate geologically relevant materials (basalt and granite monuments). These experimental results, combined with simulations, demonstrate that SINGR is capable of generating neutron die-away curves that can be used to reconstruct the bulk hydrogen abundance and the depth distribution of hydrogen within the monuments. We compare our experimental results with Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) 6.1 transport simulations to constrain the uncertainties in depth and hydrogen abundance from the neutron die-away data generated by SINGR. For future planetary exploration missions, SINGR provides a single detector system for interrogating the shallow subsurface to characterize the presence and abundance of hydrated phases and to provide bulk elemental analysis.

Keywords

  • Active interrogation
  • CLYC
  • Elpasolates
  • Geochemical analysis
  • Planetary nuclear spectroscopy
  • Pulsed neutron generator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Active neutron interrogation experiments and simulation verification using the SIngle-scintillator Neutron and Gamma-Ray spectrometer (SINGR) for geosciences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this