Online analysis and control


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The nucleonics team has extensive expertise in developing and implementing nuclear-based techniques for laboratory and online applications in the industrial processing area and for security screening.

CSIRO researchers working in this field have a fundamental understanding of the science of neutrons, x-rays and gamma-rays and how they interact with matter.

The air cargo scanner uses world-first technology to detect suspicious materials.

The air cargo scanner uses world-first technology to detect the composition, shape and density of an object, helping identify suspicious materials.

A number of new technologies are under development, such as:

  • fast-neutron and gamma-ray radiography (FNGR) for material identification – such as the identification of organic contraband in consolidated cargo
  • energy-dispersive x-ray diffraction (EDXRD) for monitoring mineralogical and elemental compositions of slurries and dry materials – for example performing on-line mineral phase analysis on ores
  • an x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique capable of online ultra-trace analysis of selected elements – the technique has been demonstrated to have accuracies more than ten times those of existing analysers
  • the use of gamma-ray activation analysis (GAA) for the high-precision measurement of a wide range of elements in concentrates and other streams – the technique has the potential to offer a laboratory-based replacement for conventional nuclear-reaction based activation analysis.

The group has developed and use a nuclear modelling and simulation package that underpins the majority of the nucleonics design work carried out by the Program.

The package integrates existing physics codes, new codes and extensions developed by the group, tools for modelling detector responses, extensive libraries and a graphical interface to allow for rapid instrument design and optimisation.