APPLYING PRACTICAL NEUTRON RADIOGRAPHIC INSPECTION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ARMY
Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center Picatinny Arsenal United States
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Over the last five years, the radiographic laboratory within the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, has been working to increase the viability of neutron radiography for the inspection of munitions and weapon systems. The project began by base-lining images obtained with a low-yield electronic generator and comparing them to the image quality and exposure time capability of nuclear reactors, research accelerators, and neutron producing isotopes. During this phase, two new deuterium-deuterium fusion based state-of-the-art neutron generators were under construction, designed to be small in size, high-yield 1E10 ns, have long life spans under continuous use, and be easy to operate in an industrial environment. This report describes the initial tests exposures and experimental setups performed with a commercial off-the-shelf system. The preliminary work showed the short falls of the inspection method and how far the technology has progressed toward final development of a practical neutron radiographic system. The end goal of this project was to produce quality neutron images with exposure times that are acceptable for low-rate inspection of production components that are used by the U.S. Army and Joint Services.