Radioactive point source localization in a bulky volume

O. Presler, U. German, Z. B. Alfassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


When using two detectors to measure the emission of gamma rays from a bulky sample, the count rates ratio of the detectors can be used to locate a radioactive source in a bulky volume. This process may be needed for locating a source in a scrap or waste container. Simple functions for location determination can be developed for the non-absorbing and pure-absorbing media, but for the general case, a more sophisticated method must be used. A simple and practical algorithm was developed, which can predict the location of a point source in a bulk volume quite accurately, with an average possible deviation of up to about 1 cm, except for extreme combinations of dimension and absorption coefficient, but also in this case the maximal expected deviations are not more than several centimeters. The algorithm was checked experimentally for several bulk volumes with length of up to about 50 cm and with different length/absorption coefficient combinations. The experimental validation was performed for a great range of absorption coefficients (from μ=0.0001 to 0.2 cm-1), covering the practical range of waste containers compositions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-637
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Algorithm
  • Location
  • Point source
  • Radioactive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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