RESEARCH PROFILE: James Ryan – Using Space Technology to Detect Radiation Threats on Earth

RESEARCH PROFILE: James Ryan – Using Space Technology to Detect Radiation Threats on Earth

Jul 16, 2012

Dr. James Ryan and his team in UNH's Space Science Center (SSC) are using his research into neutrons and gamma rays from space to construct the Portable Neutron Spectroscope (NSPECT), a device that will allow authorities to pinpoint from a safe distance materials used to make a nuclear bomb.

With funding from the federal Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Ryan's team and their partners at Michigan Aerospace Corporation are designing NSPECT to be portable and scalable.  It will enable authorities not only to determine the exact location of the material, but also to determine exactly what kind of nuclear material they were dealing with - all from a safe distance.

NSPECT employs the same techniques used by the NASA Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, a mission that involved UNH scientists and looked at radiation emanating from black holes, solar flares, gamma-ray bursts, and pulsars.

Read more about the way Ryan is bringing his research from space back down to earth in:

James Ryan – Using Space Technology to Detect Radiation Threats on Earth and UNH, Michigan Aerospace Corp to Bring Radiation Detector to Market

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