AMETEK‘s [AME] ORTEC Products Group has released a commercial search system that combines its existing radiological and nuclear detection products with new software to allow for stand-off detection and identification of improvised nuclear or nuclear dispersal devices.

Called Detective-Mobile, the software capability allows users to mount the company’s portable Detective and Micro Detective radioisotope identifiers and even its Interchangeable Detector Module (IDM) nodes on mobile–including aerial–and fixed platforms to conduct scanning operations. It can also be used with the Detective devices in handheld mode, Dan Upp, vice president at ORTEC Products Group, told sister publication TR2.

Detective-Mobile grew out of previous work ORTEC did in developing a sodium iodide-based radionuclide mobile search system that was mounted on vehicles and driven by specialized teams to find radioactive hotspots while performing interdiction missions, Upp said. The system maps the radioactive activity and users then deploy a Detective device to identify the material in a hotspot, he said.

The sodium iodide search system is a customized package and has been sold in small quantities.

With Detective-Mobile, the identification capability is part of the search system, Upp said. Both systems allow for stand-off detection of radiological material.

Essentially, the new capability allows a user to "immediately" deploy their detection and identification technology as a mobile search system to respond to an intelligence alert, Upp said.

The stand-off surveillance system includes mapping software that displays and identifies the suspected materials in real-time on a central analysis computer.

"The Detective-Mobile software allows them to adapt the tools, in this case the Detective, IDM and Micro Detective, with a laptop and GPS," Upp said. "All they have to do is install the software and they can go out and immediately, without buying any more hardware from us, configure a search system."

ORTEC’s Detective devices are based on high purity germanium detectors, which allow for radioisotope identification. There are hundreds of these products in the field in use by security and customs officials worldwide. The software system that is the key to Detective-Mobile can be incorporated with the installed base of Detective product to give them the mobile search and identification capability, Upp said.

The software for Detective-Mobile also allows for the creation of at hoc radiation portal monitors. Last year, ORTEC sold the state of New Mexico a spectroscopic radiation portal monitor with an array of eight detectors as a secondary screening device at a truck weigh station already equipped with a traditional polyvinyl toluene radiation portal monitor. Upp said with the new software users of the company’s Detective products can configure an at hoc portal monitor.

The types of customers ORTEC expects will be interested in Detective-Mobile include the Departments of Defense and Energy, state agencies, and foreign ministries of defense.