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NKS Programme Area:
Measurement Strategy, technology and QA
Area Specific Stripping factors for AGS. A method for extracting stripping factors from survey data
Uffe Korsbech, Helle Karina Aage
In order to use Airborne Gamma-ray Spectrometry (AGS) for contamination mapping, for source search etc. one must to be able to eliminate the contribution to the spectra from natural radioactivity. This in general is done by a stripping technique. The parameters for performing a stripping have until recently been measured by recording gamma spectra at special calibration sites (pads). This may be cumbersome and the parameters may not be correct when used at low gamma energies for environmental spectra.
During 2000-2001 DTU tested with success a new technique for Carborne Gamma-ray Spectrometry (CGS) where the spectra from the surveyed area (or from a similar area) were used for calculating the stripping parameters.
It was possible to calculate usable stripping ratios for a number of low energy windows - and weak source signals not detectable by other means were discovered with the ASS technique.
In this report it is shown that the ASS technique also works for AGS data, and it has been used for recent Danish AGS tests with point sources. (Check of calibration of AGS parameters.) By using the ASS technique with the Boden data (Barents Rescue) an exercise source was detected that has not been detected by any of the teams during the exercise. The ASS technique therefore seems to be better for search for radiation anomalies than any other method known presently.
The experiences also tell that although the stripping can be performed correctly at any altitude there is a variation of the stripping parameters with altitude that has not yet been quite understood.
However, even with the oddly variations the stripping worked as expected. It was also observed that one might calculate a single common set of usable stripping factors for all altitudes from the entire data set i.e. some average a, b and c values. When those stripping factors were used the stripping technique still worked well.
AGS; area specific spectrum stripping; point sources; stripping factors; altitude variation