New Sensors for Securing Containers

RFTrax releases latest addition to RFID-enabled platform for detecting low-level radiation in shipments

Allyn, WA — March 9, 2004 — Technology company RFTrax has released its latest gamma radiation sensor offering into full production, joining the firm's radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled, cadmium zinc telluride (CZT)-based radiation sensor platform for detecting low radiation levels in container shipments.

RFTrax says that the newest member of the r 3 Sensor product line, the RFTrax RAD-CZT sensor configuration, can be used as part of the homeland transportation and logistics security efforts underway in the United States.

The RAD-CZT is designed to provide a container security and radiation detection platform for most Operation Safe Commerce and other inventory management applications.

According to RFTrax, the RAD-CZT sensor is a very low power, highly-sensitive radiation monitor that can detect the gamma radiation from such potential "dirty-bomb" candidates as cobalt 60, cesium 137 and iridium 192 — substances that are highly radioactive, yet readily available as a result of their use in medical and industrial applications.

RFTrax radiation sensors are available in two configurations: RAD-Si, employing a silicon detector substrate, and RAD-CZT, employing a cadmium zinc telluride detector substrate. Both types operate by converting gamma photons from radioactive substances into electronic pulses, and counting the pulses received over a period of time.

Sensitivity for the RAD-Si configuration is 1.0 milliREM per hour, while sensitivity for the RAD- CZT configuration is 0.1 milliREM per hour. Each sensor has an adjustable threshold to exclude normal background radiation levels that are naturally occurring.

The RAD-series sensors can be programmed to provide either a "fault/no fault" condition when radiation reaches a threshold above background, or they can provide a value for the amount of radiation that has been detected since the last sample and allow external business logic to make a determination if these received values are above desired limits for the circumstances being monitored.

The complete radiation detector is about the size of a matchbox and operates on a 3.6-volt lithium battery.

The RAD-series sensors work in conjunction with other RFTrax r 3 sensors or can function independently. RFTrax says that all r 3 Sensors can monitor and record events over a period of months and rebroadcast that information in real-time or when accessed by an appropriately-equipped device utilizing RFID, GSM, satellite or other wireless communication mediums.

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