Objective: Advance the understanding of the high-energy environment through the development and deployment of advanced detectors, simulation of the environments and operations concepts, and interpretation and theoretical modeling of the observed phenomena, thereby address priority S&T goals of DoD, NASA and other civilian agencies.
S&T Status: Research in high-energy radiation detection and in the development of the science base for stand-off detection and for credible countermeasures. This research is advancing the understanding of the high energy environment through the deployment and development of advanced detectors in space, simulation of environments & operating concepts, interpretation and theoretical modeling of observed phenomena.
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Figure: NRL’s major role in the Fermi Mission (launch 2008, upper left) has enabled broadly based astrophysical investigations including the gamma ray sky map (upper right) identifying over 1800 point sources and new insight into particle acceleration and radiations from pulsars, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, and many other topics. Research in detector design enabled by NRL’s NSI has resulted in three pending patents relating to “slim edge” detectors (middle left) and charge control using atomic layer deposition and three patents on deep reactive ion etching of detectors (lower left). The J-PEX EUV sounding rocket experiment (lower center) provided unprecedented spectral resolution on White Dwarf stars. Research in radiological/nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction detection resulted in the dual container SuperMISTI detection system (middle right, in transport to Norfolk maritime testing) providing standoff detection and imaging of WMD. Image (lower right) shows SuperMISTI image of radiation source (blue block) hidden in the hold of the USS Cape Chalmers.