Medium-resolution autonomous in situ gamma detection system for marine and coastal waters

J. M. Schwantes, R. S. Addleman, J. D. Davidson, M. Douglas, D. Meier, O. D. Mullen, M. Myjak, M. E. Jones, M. L. Woodring, B. Johnson, P. H. Santschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We are developing a medium-resolution autonomous in situ gamma detection system for marine and coastal waters. The system is designed to extract and preconcentrate isotopes of interest from natural waters prior to detection in order to eliminate signal attenuation of the gamma rays traveling through water and lower the overall background from the presence of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes (40K and U-Th series radionuclides). Filtration is used to preconcentrate target isotopes residing on suspended particles, while chemosorption is employed to preferentially extract truly dissolved components from the water column. Used filter and chemosorbent media will be counted autonomously using two LaBr3 detectors in a near 4-π configuration around the samples. A compact digital pulse processing system, developed in-house and capable of running in coincidence mode, is used to process the signal from the detectors to a small on-board computer. The entire system is extremely compact (9″ dia. × 30″ len.) and platform independent, but designed for initial deployment on a research buoy. A variety of commercial and in-house nano-porous chemosorbents have been selected, procured or produced, and these and filter and detector components have been tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-895
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pollution
  • Spectroscopy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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