DTRA’s Nuclear Technologies Department (J9NT) Wins Two Prestigious 2015 R&D 100 Awards

In the Nuclear Technologies Department, we have great people who accomplish amazing things.  Our folks recently earned international recognition by winning not one, but two prestigious 2015 Research and Development 100 Awards!  Selected by a panel of more than 70 independent judges, the R&D 100 Awards recognize the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year.

Our first winner, the “Antero-Shavano Neutron Spectrometer,” sponsored by DTRA’s Nuclear Detection Division (J9NTD), is a new class of neutron detection instrumentation that offers capabilities not accessible by traditional 3He gas-filled (or other similar legacy technology) neutron detection systems.  Neutron energy spectroscopy is a highly sought after technology for the identification of certain special nuclear materials.   Current techniques and instruments used for neutron energy spectroscopy are bulky, cumbersome and difficult to use, limiting their operational utility. The Antero/Shavano Neutron Spectrometer combines advanced compact semiconductor technologies with advanced mathematical algorithms to produce a first-of-a-kind portable instrument capable of rapidly identifying neutron sources, energies, and locations.  The team that developed NTD’s neutron spectrometer consisted of U2D Incorporated; Kansas State University SMART Laboratory; University of Missouri Kansas City; University of Missouri Columbia; Radiation Detection Technologies, Inc.; DTRA/J9NTD; and Office of Naval Research, Code 35.

Our second R&D 100 Award winner is the “IBISTM Photo-conductive Semiconductor Switch (PCSS),” sponsored by DTRA’s Nuclear Survivability Division (J9NTS).  This breakthrough technology, known as the Ion Band Implanted Switch (IBIS), is a super-fast PCSS based on Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) to offer unprecedented operating voltage and current handling with sub-nanosecond rise times for laser triggered switching.  Its applications include nuclear weapon effects experimentation capabilities, electromagnetic pulse simulation, high-energy physics and medical accelerators, and advanced high-power microwave and radar systems.  Members of the IBIS switch team were UES Inc., DTRA/J9NTS, and L3 Applied Technologies, Inc.  

The R&D 100 Awards have a 50+ year history of recognizing excellence in innovation, earning the name the “Oscars of Invention." On November 13th at the 2015 R&D Awards & Technology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, these high rollers of the science and technology community were honored on stage for their innovative, high-tech products and processes that are, or will, make a difference in our everyday lives.

 The Nuclear Technologies Department researches, develops and demonstrates technologies that support the nuclear deterrent by quantifying nuclear weapons effects, ensuring system survivability, and supporting attribution through nuclear forensics and prevents attacks against the US and its allies by verifying nuclear treaty compliance and locating and identifying nuclear threats.