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UV/IR Filaments for High Resolution Novel Spectroscopic Interrogation of Plumes on Nuclear Materials

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Technical Report,20 Jun 2011,19 Feb 2015

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University of New Mexico Albuquerque United States

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In recent years, there has been a steady development of techniques to detect nuclear and radiological materials at standoff distances for nuclear nonproliferation and national security. These techniques include neutron detectors 1 and gamma-ray detectors 2 which require the production of highly energetic MeV electron beams, by large, heavy accelerators. An investigation of several technique involving either a light filament, or a combination of light filaments, was made. The objective was to evaluate linear and nonlinear techniques that can be exploited for remote sensing with filaments. A long term objective was to obtain a remote signature of both the chemical composition and isotopic content of materials that result from the decay of radioactive materials involved in a nuclear explosion. New diagnostic techniques were developed leading to a better understanding of filaments. These include influence of polarization, with either standard initial condition beam focalization in air or controlled initial condition launching filaments from a focal spot in vacuum, developing a new video technique to visualize the evolution of the filamented pulse and plasma emission in time, space and frequency. Developments of a new source confirmed the creation of non diffracting ultraviolet filament, i.e. pulses of slightly less than 200 ps and 200 mJ energy, at 266 nm, confined to less than 1 mm diameter by nonlinear interaction with air, reported earlier 3.

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