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[en] Recent advancements in the ultra-wide band Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and solid state pillar type neutron detectors have enabled us to move forward in combining both technologies for advanced neutron monitoring. The LLNL RFID tag is totally passive and will operate indefinitely without the need for batteries. The tag is compact, can be directly mounted on metal, and has high performance in dense and cluttered environments. The LLNL coin-sized pillar solid state neutron detector has achieved a thermal neutron detection efficiency of 20% and neutron/gamma discrimination of 1E5. These performance values are comparable to a fieldable 3He based detector. In this paper we will discuss features about the two technologies and some potential applications for the advanced safeguarding of nuclear materials.
[en] The paper addresses technological and operational challenges of developing a global plug-and-play Maritime Domain Security testbed for the Global War on Terrorism mission. This joint NPS-LLNL project is based on the NPS Tactical Network Topology (TNT) composed of long-haul OFDM networks combined with self-forming wireless mesh links to air, surface, ground, and underwater unmanned vehicles. This long-haul network is combined with ultra-wideband (UWB) communications systems for wireless communications in harsh radio propagation channels. LLNL's UWB communication prototypes are designed to overcome shortcomings of the present narrowband communications systems in heavy metallic and constricted corridors inside ships. In the center of our discussion are networking solutions for the Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) Experiments in which geographically distributed command centers and subject matter experts collaborate with the Boarding Party in real time to facilitate situational understanding and course of action selection. The most recent experiment conducted via the testbed extension to the Alameda Island exercised several key technologies aimed at improving MIO. These technologies included UWB communications from within the ship to Boarding Party leader sending data files and pictures, advanced radiation detection equipment for search and identification, biometric equipment to record and send fingerprint files to facilitate rapid positive identification of crew members, and the latest updates of the NPS Tactical Network Topology facilitating reachback to LLNL, Biometric Fusion Center, USCG, and DTRA experts
[en] The ability to reliably and securely automate the monitoring of SNM is an important goal in Safeguards. Although item level monitoring of SNM requires both seal and tag technologies, the two technologies thus far have been developed more or less independently, and had been a lack of an integrated compact system. An integrated seal-and-tag approach not only aids inspectors to perform their tasks effectively, this approach also allows real-time inspection in large scale facilities. A typical facility could be the size of a large warehouse with hundreds or thousands of items that need to be sealed and monitored in real-time. Previously we reported on advanced secure RF passive (battery-less) tags with special features including, long-range interrogation of passive tags, communicating with passive tags with strong encryption and dynamic authentication features, and the ability to place the tags directly on metal objects. In this paper, we report on a novel secure passive tag integrated with fibre optics seal that allows real-time monitoring of items through secure wireless communications that employs AES encryption and dynamic authentication. Furthermore, the devices can be networked for large scale operations. The proposed passive seal has the same capabilities as active seals in that it allows realtime monitoring. However, the battery lifetimes of conventional active seals are limited or unpredictable. As the long-term storage of SNM might last for several years, these passive seals having been integrated with passive RF tags, extends the lifetime of the physical seals and tags indefinitely, while getting the same performance of active seals and tags. The integrated seal-and-tag is transformational in addressing a critical need in Safeguards area for long-term real-time monitoring. (author)