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Research Area 3: Survivability and Response

The Interaction of Ionizing Radiation with Matter University Research Alliance (IIRM-URA) seeks to enhance robust prediction of overall system performance under various mission requirements in the event of a nuclear explosion. To ensure survivability, IIRM-URA is exploring methods to properly assess risk and damage on an accelerated scale with a focus on interactions and interfaces of damage mechanisms to device performance. By understanding the fundamental interaction and degradation mechanisms associated with emerging devices and commercial off-the-shelf sub-assemblies, researchers can begin to develop advanced electronics and detection systems capable of surviving a nuclear detonation.

Focus Areas (FA) of Interest

FA1 Survivability testing

Researchers are investigating the effects of ionizing radiation on devices and systems by identifying and characterizing radiation-induced failure mechanisms. They are experimentally evaluating, modeling, and simulating the response of entire complex modern systems to develop an experimental protocol capable of quickly and accurately detecting the most vulnerable region in a highly integrated systems-on-a-chip (SOC) device, with the goal of examining the microstructural mechanisms of failure.

FA2 Collection and analysis

The alliance is working to develop predictive models of systems-on-a-chip (SOC) reliability and failure mechanisms to provide the most inexpensive route for exploring differences in anticipated failure rates and failure modes of a variety of SOC architectures. Efforts are being dedicated to improve analysis capabilities of a post-detonation environment to provide rapid and accurate data on nuclear forensics on debris, analysis of complex gamma spectra, and development of novel analysis methodologies to assess large data sets.

FA3 Radiological and nuclear contamination

Researchers are investigating radon contamination of U.S. Department of Defense equipment and warfighters to develop methods and materials to remove or prevent contamination in the first place. They are also exploring remote detection paths to detect radioactive contamination on surfaces of objects and in the air at long ranges with a new laser technology.

FA4 Shielding

The alliance is also reducing the footprint of radiation shielding by making them lighter, thinner, and cheaper without compromising the level of protection. Shielding strategies will consider the various primary interactions of different sources of ionizing radiation (neutrons, gamma rays, and X-rays) with relevant matter in radiological-nuclear contaminated areas.

Contact information:

Focus Areas (FA) of Interest:

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The Interaction of Ionizing Radiation with Matter, University Research Alliance leadership group is called the Technical Management Group (TMG). The TMG collaboratively lead the alliance and assist the cooperative agreement manager (CAM) and the program manager (PM) in carrying out their duties concerning the IIRM-URA. The corresponding research area (RA) government technical points of contact (TPOCs) will collaboratively lead the RAs through the TMG.

Interaction of Ionizing Radiation with Matter University Research Alliance

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802