Low-cost gamma-ray detector for nuclear radiation remote sensing


The Invention: 

The innovation provides a method for remotely detecting gamma radiation emitted from a nuclear source. Gamma detection represents the prevalent approach to radiation detection. Currently, gammas must navigate toward the interaction zone within a physical detector (crystal) that possesses finite dimensions. In this development, a continuous wave (CW) electromagnetic wave is used, featuring a less restrictive interaction zone, to remotely detect and distinguish detected gamma radiation across a broader spatial area. Different frequency shifts in the scattered wave enable the identification of the energy levels of the detected gamma(s) and the spectra of the nuclear source.


  • The invention effectively moves the stimulus of the detector to the interaction medium where the collision effects are most probable and abundant. 
  • Lets one to view a larger interaction region than any one crystal detector will allow.
  • The properties of the gamma are hypothetically transferred to the recoil electron in the interacting medium through forward Compton Scattering and through inverse Compton scattering with the microwave stimulus
  • The invention detects the stimulated scattered electromagnetic radiation from the recoil electron.

Market Opportunity: 

Gamma rays are very difficult to detect—especially remotely. The ability to detect a gamma ray is dependent on the flux of gammas, distance, the size of the detector crystal, and crystal composition. Since most gamma sources emit radiation isotropically, few gammas will be intercepted by a practical detector. Currently, the range to measure low signal-to-noise ratio signatures is very short (between 10 and 100 m). If the detector can be moved closer to the nuclear source—increasing its area of coverage—then it has a better chance of intercepting and detecting small numbers of gammas.

According to The Insight Partner, the current market value is approximately 765M and is expected to “grow at a 6.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2028”.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Jaeyun Moon
Kaleab Ayalew
Alexander Barzilov
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