IDEAS develops integrated circuits and subsystems for radiation detection and quantification for environmental applications. This includes general background information: Ionizing radiation affects health of humans, animals and plants. Some radiation is natural, for example, cosmic rays or radiation from naturally occurring isotopes. Other radiation originates from technological sources. Ionizing radiation can be present, for example, in nuclear power plants, waste treatment and storage, and after radiological incidents. Humans without a dedicated instrument cannot sense the ionizing radiation, and therefore they can be exposed to the radiation unknowingly. To preserve health and environment one needs instruments that deliver information about the radiation and possible threads.
Dynamic Visualization of γ Radiation from the Distance
Gamma ray photons are an important form of ionizing radiation. In some cases gamma radiation shall be assessed quickly and from large distances without harming the operator. Integrated circuits from IDEAS are used in instruments that dynamically visualize gamma radiation in a large field of view and superimpose the images from gamma radiation with the visible image of the scene. The instruments allows one to identify the isotopes present and localize their spatial distribution. The circuits have enabled high high performance instruments, which are portable, small, low-weight, and power-efficient. IDEAS circuits have enabled stand-off and dynamic visualization of gamma radiation in the environment. These instruments improve radio protection and safety.
Better Awareness of n/γ Radiation in the Environment
The accurate measurement of radiation from natural decay, solar activities and occupational environments (mines, high altitude, space stations, nuclear plants, scientific experiments) is paramount for the radiation protection of health and the environment. Radiation has also become one of the most powerful diagnostic and treatment tools in health care where monitoring of radiation exposure is important for patients and healthcare personnel. Radiation in these environments is of mixed radiation nature. One of the key challenges in radiation protection is to have a single detection unit that provides accurate and precise measurement of the various types of radiation present in the environment. The technology uses integrated circuits from IDEAS for the readout of the radiation detector. The circuits combine many channels and functions in a single die and thereby reduce weight, power and cost of the detection unit. Advanced radiation detectors are needed to make us aware of the radiation in the environment. IDEAS circuits enable radiation detectors with better performance, lower weight, power and cost than conventional systems.
Autonomous Networked Nodes of Radiation Sensors
Autonomous networked nodes of radiation sensors can provide vital information about the evolution of radiation in the environment, in installations and urban areas. Many years of autonomous operation can only be achieved with power efficient electronics. The electronics must have power management, data acquisition, and processing and transmission units. ASICs can provide all necessary functions and thereby lower the size, weight, cost and increase reliability of the sensor nodes compared to systems with discrete electronics. Low-cost and power efficient integrated circuits enable a network with very large number of nodes. Power efficient electronics enables autonomous networked nodes of radiation sensors. IDEAS integrated circuit IP can be applied to networks of radiation sensors.