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Gamma-Ray imaging for nuclear security and safety: Towards 3-D gamma-ray vision

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The development of portable gamma-ray imaging instruments in combination with the recent advances in sensor and related computer vision technologies enable unprecedented capabilities in the detection, localization, and mapping of radiological and nuclear materials in complex environments relevant for nuclear security and safety. Though multi-modal imaging has been established in medicine and biomedical imaging for some time, the potential of multi-modal data fusion for radiological localization and mapping problems in complex indoor and outdoor environments remains to be explored in detail. In contrast to the well-defined settings in medical or biological imaging associated with small field-of-view and well-constrained extension of the radiation field, in many radiological search and mapping scenarios, the radiation fields are not constrained and objects and sources are not necessarily known prior to the measurement. The ability to fuse radiological with contextual or scene data in three dimensions, in analog to radiological and functional imaging with anatomical fusion in medicine, provides new capabilities enhancing image clarity, context, quantitative estimates, and visualization of the data products. We have developed new means to register and fuse gamma-ray imaging with contextual data from portable or moving platforms. These developments enhance detection and mapping capabilities as well as provide unprecedented visualization of complex radiation fields, moving us one step closer to the realization of gamma-ray vision in three dimensions.

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