Silverside’s Technology

Cost-Effective Nuclear Detection

  • Cost effective Detection

  • Silverside’s core commitment is to creating cost-effective excellence in detection technology.

    We use the “cost-per-count” value, or C-value, to represent the relationship between detector efficiency and affordability.


 

DETECTOR TECHNOLOGY VARIABLES

Three interrelated factors contribute to making the most effective detector for the price—in short, the highest-value detector:

  • Detection Capture Area

    CAPTURE AREA

    A detector can only give a signal if the neutron hits it. The larger the surface area the detector the more neutrons it will capture—just imagine how many raindrops will hit a large blanket as compared to a small washcloth.

  • conversion icon

    CONVERSION EFFICIENCY

    Once the neutron hits the detector, the efficiency of the conversion material determines what percentage of the neutrons pass through the undetected, and what percentage are converted into a signal. Helium 3 gas (He-3) is the gold standard for conversion material, with higher conversion rates than Lithium 6 (Li-6), Boron 10 (B-10), and other conversion materials.

  • cost

    COST

    It is possible to build large-surface-area detectors with any conversion material, but it is not always economically feasible. The price of He-3, for example, makes a large-area detector prohibitively expensive. The practical constraint of limited budgets forces consideration of a trade-off: what is the optimal trade-off of capture area and conversion efficiency in order to maximize detection of neutrons?

 

COUNTS-PER-COST COMPARISON

The “Counts-per-Cost” Ratio, or the “C-Ratio,” allows us to optimize detection capacity for a limited security budget. The key question:

For a budget of $X, how much detection capacity can I buy?

Silverside uses one number, the “C-value” to make this comparison.

C-Ratio = (capture area) x (conversion efficiency) / (detector cost)

 

 

  • The numerator measures the # of radiation counts the detector receives, as this is the product of:

    • Detection Capture Area

    • How many particles (gamma rays or neutrons) hit the detector

    • Conversion Efficiency

    • How many of the neutrons that hit the area are detected

    • Detection Capture Area

    • The denominator is the cost of the detector, which largely depends on the price of the conversion material.

 

 

DETECTOR COMPARISON

 

While He-3 is the gold standard for conversion efficiency, its high price limits the volume that is available for detector construction. The capture area of He-3 detectors is small by necessity, lowering its C-Ratio in comparison to detectors that use less efficient material but achieve a larger conversion area.

With a new priority of minimizing detection cost in order to build networks of radiation sensors, the C-Ratio allows Silverside to maximize not just detector effectiveness, but of detector value.