Arktis awarded DARPA contract to develop the next generation of neutron detectors

Arktis Radiation Detectors Ltd has announced that it has received a contract award from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the next generation of neutron detectors.

The innovative detectors proposed by Arktis should prove up to twice as sensitive and as little as one tenth of the cost of the systems currently available without using Helium3 which has very limited availability for non-medical applications. These benefits would enable the technology to be accessible in multiple applications across the defense sector and beyond. The capabilities, cost profile and requirements established by DARPA will also address a broad range of applications sought by security agencies as they continue to seek greater effectiveness at lower cost to conduct comprehensive and ubiquitous screening for illicit radioactive and nuclear materials.

The competitive contract, awarded under DARPA’s SIGMA Program contains an option valued at more than $1.2m for the base year development phase with the future global market for the new technology expected to be worth many millions of dollars.

Scientists at Arktis expect to start work on the project in July and predict that their solution, if successful, could be in full production within three years.

Speaking on the award of the DARPA contract, Rico Chandra, CEO of Arktis Radiation Detectors said “We are extremely proud to be one of the companies selected by DARPA for a development phase contract for their SIGMA program. This award builds on our reputation for developing advanced state of the art radiation detection systems. We are focused on delivering to DARPA a system that will provide a major step change in current capability.”

In addition to developing concepts for the new DARPA project, Arktis has recently been demonstrating its MODES_SNM mobile or stationary system - the first of its type in the world to combine fast and thermal neutron detection. The system has already undergone rigorous tests at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and the Port of Rotterdam, and the Irish tax and customs administration.

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