- R&D 100 Awards
The Wearable Detection Device (WDD) is a wearable garment that provides a means of rapidly and accurately alerting an operator to the presence of nuclear material. A small number of neutrons are always present as background radiation and are usually produced as a byproduct of naturally occurring cosmic-ray events in the atmosphere. However, the presence of alternative neutron sources, including special nuclear material (SNM), that can be used to make dirty bombs, can elevate these neutron flux levels. The WDD comprises up to 16 modular neutron detectors (MNDs) and two modular gamma-ray detectors (MGDs), which then communicate reported count rates from each module to an Android handheld device. Military and law-enforcement personnel conducting field operations to search for controlled special nuclear materials and nuclear weapons can use the WDD. Two versions are available: a wired, embedded version and a wireless, reconfigurable version. The WDD can also be populated with two optional modular gamma-ray detectors for added capability. The wireless version of the WDD is entirely reconfigurable to meet operator needs, such as deploying the sensors in personal clothing, in a backpack, or within a vehicle.