Tomographic Imaging with Cosmic Ray Muons

C. L. Morris, C. C. Alexander, J. D. Bacon, K. N. Borozdin, D. J. Clark, R. Chartrand, C. J. Espinoza, A. M. Fraser, M. C. Galassi, J. A. Green, J. S. Gonzales, J. J. Gomez, N. W. Hengartner, G. E. Hogan, A. V. Klimenko, M. F. Makela, P. Mcgaughey, J. J. Medina, F. E. Pazuchanics, W. C. Priedhorsky, J. C. Ramsey, A. Saunders, R. C. Schirato, L. J. Schultz, M. J. Sossong, G. S. Blanpied, "Tomographic Imaging with Cosmic Ray Muons," Science & Global Security, 16, no. 1-2, (2008): 37-53.
Over 120 million vehicles enter the United States each year. Many are capable of transporting hidden nuclear weapons or nuclear material. Currently deployed X-ray radiography systems are limited because they cannot be used on occupied vehicles and the energy and dose are too low to penetrate many cargos. We present a new technique that overcomes these limitations by obtaining tomographic images using the multiple scattering of cosmic radiation as it transits each vehicle. When coupled with passive radiation detection, muon interrogation could contribute to safe and robust border protection against nuclear devices or material in occupied vehicles and containers.

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