PINS3-CF Chemical and Explosives Identification System

PINS Chemical Weapons AssayThe Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy (PINS) Chemical Identification System combines the latest chemical analysis identification technology with the industry leading ORTEC trans-SPEC-N high purity germanium platform. The PINS3-CF offers unprecedented value with the elimination of liquid nitrogen, reduced operating cost, lightweight field deployment and built-in automatic ID of chemicals all in a rugged design.

While other chemical analysis and identification systems require sampling, opening or even transport to a controlled facility for measurement, the PINS3-CF system can perform sampling through containers and sealed vessels at their precise field location. The ability to detect potential chemical and explosive threats is now possible in any environmental condition, even in high temperature locations.

The PINS3-CF portable chemical analysis and identification system is flexible enough to be used every day to provide CBRNe security professionals the information they need, when they need it.

Once considered the domain of the military, the PINS3-CF system makes non-destructive chemical identification a powerful solution for any security professional that requires a higher degree of safety in inspecting the contents of munitions, tanks, shielded containers, drums, or any unknown chemical mixture.

The PINS3 portable chemical analysis and identification system does not require liquid nitrogen.
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    The ORTEC PINS3-CF is a Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy (PINS) non-destructive assessment system that analyzes and provides on-site identification information about the contents of unidentified or suspect chemicals inside thick steel unopened containers. The system is designed to identify chemicals inside a container without the need for disassembly, contact, physical sampling or breech, and is being deployed as part of national counter-terrorist equipment assets for providing a safe means of identifying the contents of "suspect" packages.

    The PINS3-CF is simple and easy to use with the addition of the ORTEC trans-SPEC-N mechanically cooled high purity germanium spectrometer. The trans-SPEC-N has been specifically designed and tested to replace existing liquid nitrogen cooled detectors currently used for neutron chemical assay systems and provides the necessary field spectroscopy readings for non-intrusive chemical identification.

    PINS3-CF provides significant advantages over previous liquid nitrogen designed systems by eliminating the logistical and safety problems associated with the storage and transport of liquid nitrogen, equipment handling, maintenance, and training.

    PINS Applications
    • Munitions – Artillery, Mortar, Rockets, Bombs, Land mines.
    • Containers – Gas cylinders, Storage tanks, Bags, Brief cases, Parcels.
    • Chemicals – Chemical war heads, Explosives, Gases, Smoke.

    PINS Overview
    The Portable Isotopic Nuclear Spectroscopy (PINS) Chemical Identification System identifies dangerous compounds and mixtures non-destructively. The test object need not be opened or touched, providing significant safety benefits. As shown, PINS probes a test object with neutrons that excite the atomic nuclei within, causing the excited nuclei to produce gamma rays. The energy intensity pattern or spectrum of these gamma rays is unique for each chemical element, and by analyzing the gamma-ray spectrum, the PINS software identifies the chemical elements inside the test object and determines if the object contains a chemical warfare agent, a military explosive, a fill (such as sand), or a smoke generating chemical.

    How It Works
    PINS3-CF uses neutrons produced by fission of the radioisotope Californium-252 (Cf-252). The standard PINS3-CF 5-microgram Cf-252 source produces ten million neutrons per second. The source emits neutrons omni-directionally, and approximately 1,000 neutrons per second strike each square centimeter of the test object surface. Since neutrons are a very penetrating form of radiation, most pass through the test object casing and interact with the chemicals inside. 

    Neutrons from the source excite the nuclei they encounter by inelastic scattering or by neutron capture. In either case, the excited nuclei decay to their ground states by gamma-ray emission, and the gamma rays are characteristic of the emitting nucleus. That is, the gamma-ray energies and intensities vary, often strongly, from one nucleus to another. For example, the hydrogen nucleus emits a 2.2-MeV gamma ray under neutron bombardment, while a phosphorus nucleus emits a 1.3-MeV gamma ray. 

    The neutron-induced gamma rays are measured by a high-purity germanium (HPGe) spectrometer and sorted into a spectrum by the spectrometer electronics. By analysis of the spectrum, the chemical elements excited by the neutrons are determined, and the chemical substance inside the test object can be identified. 

    PINS in Operation
    Developed for field deployment, the PINS3-CF is both portable and rugged. Its components include a mechanically cooled spectrometer with integrated multichannel analyzer, a small radioactive californium neutron source, a stand and shielding for the detector, and a laptop computer for user interface. Customized software displays the data in real time as it is gathered and offers powerful options for monitoring and analysis.

    The laptop computer serves as the PINS3-CF control panel. The computer allows the user to initialize the instrument, start and stop data acquisition by the gamma-ray spectrometer, and display and analyze the resulting gamma-ray spectra. Connecting cables 82 feet (25 meters) long allow the computer to be set up at a safe distance from the radiation exclusion area, and also provide communication between the computer and the gamma-ray spectrometer.

    trans-SPEC-N Mechanically Cooled High Purity Germanium Spectrometer
    Unlike the liquid-nitrogen-cooled HPGe spectrometers used in previous PINS systems, PINS3-CF uses the trans-SPEC-N mechanically-cooled HPGe spectrometer, requiring no liquid nitrogen. The electrical power required to cool the spectrometer detector is approximately 30 watts. The trans-SPEC-N lithium ion battery can keep the detector cold for 10 to 12 hours and the external battery can be “hot-swapped” for extended field use of the instrument. The trans-SPEC-N provides a flexible and modular solution to support field inspections of chemical and explosive threats with the following additional features: 

    • No LN2 — Miniature, high-reliability, "run-forever" Stirling-cycle cooler eliminates the need for LIQUID NITROGEN; detector element is encapsulated in high reliability, low loss, all-metal sealed cryostat.
    • High Sensitivity — Large (>50% relative efficiency) HPGe detector.
    • High Stability — Digital electronics give you the solution for the toughest analysis in the toughest conditions.
    • Bright and Clear — VGA resolution display with touch sensitive operator screen.
    • All-in-one Integrated Package — Rugged and compact with no interconnections — easy to setup and go.
    • Smart — Nuclide ID and activity calculation for nine Regions of Interest (ROI).
    • Well Connected — USB 2.0 and Wireless.
    • 802.11 Communications, built-in GPS, and Secure Digital Input/Output (SDIO) storage of acquired spectra.
    • Flexible — A variety of power sources can be used, including internal battery, supplemental external battery, automobile battery (any 12 V DC), and line power; all with automatic switchover.

    Auto Analysis of Chemicals 
    The PINS data acquisition program records and displays the incoming spectra measurements from the trans-SPEC-N. It also analyzes the spectrum being recorded every 10 seconds, fitting the peaks of interest, re-calibrating the energy scale, and performing a chemical analysis. The new chemical analysis method, based on the shown decision tree logic, attempts to identify the chemical inside the object under test. The new probabilistic method traces through every path in the decision tree, and computes a score for each possible content chemical. The chemical with the highest score is chosen as the content chemical. 

    The new chemical analysis method is faster and more accurate, plus it is easier to expand the list of chemicals that PINS can identify automatically. Currently, the PINS auto analysis software recognizes the following chemicals. 

    Chemical Warfare Agents         
    BR-2
    CG
    CK
    GB
    HD
    HN
    VX
    WL 

    Riot Agents 
    CA
    CNB
    CNS
    Practice Fills 
    Bleach
    POP
    Sand
    Water-antifreeze

    Smoke Chemicals 
    FM
    FS
    HC
    WP

    Explosives 
  • Specifications +


    Gamma-Ray HPGe Spectrometer
    Model ORTEC trans-SPEC-N
    Relative Efficiency >50% typical (ANSI/IEEE 325-1996)
    Energy Resolution <1600 eV @ 122 keV and ≤2.5 keV @ 1332 keV (FWHM Warranted at optimum settings and detector type)
    Multichannel Analyzer (MCA) Built in digital signal processing MCA
    MCA Channels Up to 16k
    Dimensions 15.5 in. L x 6.55 in. W x 13.75 in. H (39.4 cm L x 16.3 cm W x 34.9 cm H)
    Weight 24.4 lb. (11.1 kg)
    Input Power 10–17 V DC @ 30 Watt
    Internal Battery Life >3 hours @ 77°F (25°C) for a cold detector
    External Battery Extends operating time to 12 hours @ 77°F (25°C) for a cold detector
    Initial Cooldown Time <10 hours @ 77°F (25°C) 

    Laptop Computer
    Model Panasonic Toughbook CF-31
    Operating System Microsoft Windows 7
    Hard Disk Drive Capacity 320 GB
    Battery Operation Time 12.5 hours
    Charging Time 4.5 hours
    Dimensions 11.9 in. x 11.5 in. x 2.9 in. (30.2 cm x 29.2 cm x 7.3 cm)
    Weight 8.2 lb. (3.7 kg)
    Operating Temperature Range 14–22

    Cf-252 Neutron Source
    Model Frontier Technology Corporation Model 100
    Radioisotope Californium-252
    Source Mass 5 micrograms
    Source Activity 2.5 millicurie, 92.5 megabequerel
    Neutron Maxwellian, Temperature Spectrum Parameter = 1.42 MeV
    Mean Neutron Energy 2.1 MeV
    Construction Solid metal-cermet alloy source, double stainless steel encapsulation
    Special Form Certification U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT)
    Shipping Container Frontier Technology Corporation Model 50240 (5 gallon drum)
    Shipping Container Certification
    US DOT Type A, Specification 7A
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    Model Description
    PINS3-CF Portable Chemical and Explosives Identification System. Includes trans-SPEC-N HPGe Gamma Spectrometer, Laptop, PINS Chemical and Explosives Analysis and Identification Software, measurement table assembly, safety signs and tools, external DC power supply, and ruggedized, wheeled transport and shipping container.
    PINS3-CF-RN
    Available in the
    U.S. ONLY.

    Portable Chemical and Explosives Identification System. Includes trans-SPEC-N HPGe Gamma Spectrometer, Laptop, PINS Chemical and Explosives Analysis and Identification Software, Radiological and Nuclear Identification Software, measurement table assembly, safety signs and tools, external DC power supply, and ruggedized, wheeled transport and shipping container.
    trans-SPEC-N trans-SPEC-N Portable Spectrometer complete with universal mains supply and MAESTRO software.