The research division, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (RMD), of Dynasil Corporation (NASDAQ GM:DYSL) has been named a 2011 Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s small business winner for radiation and nuclear detection. This award is one of DHS’s small business awards for innovative achievement and commitment to national security.
Dr. Kanai Shah, Vice President of RMD, received the award on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at a ceremony held by DHS at the GSA auditorium in Washington, DC. In particular, RMD was recognized for accomplishing low rate production of two newly developed radiation detection materials, strontium iodide (SrI 2) and Cs 2LiYCl 6 (CLYC) scintillator crystals, capable of both high-confidence nuclear and radioactive material detection in all environments. These low rate production facilities provide scintillation crystals as government furnished materials in support of DNDO’s exploratory research programs. In particular, they are the key enabling technologies for DNDO's Advanced Radiation Monitoring Devices (ARMD) program. RMD’s consistency in meeting the DNDO milestones, providing high quality scintillation samples in a timely manner to the ARMD program vendors and establishing a good working relationship with the government have also been important considerations in receiving this award. DHS is also recognizing RMD for the continuing development of TlBr semiconductor nuclear detectors. This DHS Small Business Achievement Award is presented to small businesses for outstanding commitment to the homeland security mission.
Dynasil previously announced plans to scale up production of its dual mode (combined gamma-neutron) nuclear radiation detectors which are based on the CLYC scintillator material technology being recognized by the DHS award. Applications for Dynasil’s novel dual mode detectors include the detection of nuclear terrorist threats and monitoring of radiation from nuclear power.
One of the most serious threats faced by the United States is the possibility of terrorists smuggling a nuclear weapon into the country and the DHS is seeking improved detection equipment. Existing detectors tend to be expensive, too small, or are plagued by false alarms from naturally occurring radioactive materials, which emit radiation. In addition, current border protection technology for nuclear materials utilizes a crucial ingredient called helium 3 which was a by-product of the nuclear weapons program and is increasingly in short supply. Dynasil next generation radiation-detection materials provide potential solutions for several of these difficult challenges. The initial target market for Dynasil’s new detectors is portable radiation detection devices that can be used to measure radiation levels and to provide alarms for high levels of radiation as well as to detect nuclear materials that terrorists might try to smuggle into our country.