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Detection of Organic Materials with Neutrons


Developing Neutron Methodic and Technical-Instrumental Provision for Detection and Determination Local Limits of Organic Structure Environment in Closed Thick-Walled Cavities

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-DET/Detection Devices/Instrumentation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Scientific-Research Institute of Automatic Systems "Skhivi", Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Duke University, USA, NH, Durham\nCampbell Security Equipment Co., USA, CA, Pleasant Hill

Project summary

Georgia, taking into account its geographic location is becoming the most important link of transport corridor connecting Europe and Asia – TRACECA.

Goods high turnover on all kinds of transport requires highly effective control of goods flows on the subject of smuggling, environment protection, etc. The experience of Interpol and Customs Services of many countries shows that huge amounts of drugs, explosives and others are usually hidden in closed, thick-walled, steel cavities, such as ribs of cargo containers, chassis and cornices of auto and railway transport, etc.

Customs services badly need searching-controlling instrument characterized by compactness, small energy consumption, little analyzing time, possibility o f applying it while only one-way access to the object, etc. Among very limited number of autonomous radiation instruments of special destination mentioned above, there should be mentioned the instrument Buster-910B of SCECO firm. The instrument uses radioisotope gamma-albedo method of measuring the volume being controlled. However, the nature of gamma-albedo method itself imposes at least two significant limits on the process of measuring: maximum permissible thickness of the steel screens and impossibility to identify the substance hidden behind the metal screen and reflecting the gamma-irradiation. In the basis of neutron methodic of detection lies strong dependence of neutron intercourse section on their energy and nucleus characteristics of the substance being under control. The principle of measuring with a neutron-albedo detector significantly differs from gamma-albedo one and in the result it can provide detection of organic (containing water) substances hidden behind thicker metal barriers and their identification as well.

The significant information about the organizations, private firms and certain scientists working on the same problem, i.e. existing element base, methodology of neutron fields measuring and algorithms of developing the measurement results has been obtained. Business contacts have been set up with several specialists working in the field of element base of radiation equipment and their development as well. The CSECO firm (USA) President, Mr. Patrick Campbell and Duke University (USA) professor, Mr. Vaclav Vylet are ready to become foreign collaborators. The information on the ongoing investigations in Russia should be mentioned here. These investigations are related to so called “disconnecting” sources of neutron irradiation allowing significant improvement of radiation safety of neutron equipment operators. The specialists working in this field consider the above-mentioned problem to be one of the most serous problems. Moreover, scientific-technical literature notes the problem called radio-phobia of radiation equipment operators. In the result of the above said, when developing process of this equipment significant attention should be paid not only to improvement of radiation safety of an operator, but also to the problem of establishing the way to overcome their mentioned radio-phobia.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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