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Volume 30, Issue 3

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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 14:40

Sandia's radiation analysis software makes emergency responders’ jobs quicker, easier

InterSpec helps decision-makers determine source, type, amount of radiation in real time

LIVERMORE, Calif. — When law enforcement officers and first responders arrive at an emergency involving radiation, they need a way to swiftly assess the situation to keep the public and environment safe. Having analysis tools that can quickly and reliably make sense of radiation data is of the essence.

Decision-makers in these emergencies can now turn to a new Sandia National Laboratories-developed tool called InterSpec. A software application available for both mobile and traditional computing devices, InterSpec can rapidly and accurately analyze gamma radiation data collected at the scene.

Software developer and physicist Will Johnson said InterSpec updates, strengthens and integrates many radiation analysis tools and resources into a single mobile or desktop application that is seamless and intuitive to use.

“InterSpec allows decision-makers to rapidly identify both radioisotopes and shielding materials around the source,” Johnson said. “InterSpec is also a valuable tool for laboratories and other academic and industrial settings where an accurate understanding of detected radiological material is crucial.”

For the past four years, Sandia researchers have been making InterSpec easy to use in any situation by anyone who works with radioactive material.

InterSpec was created for people who have some radiation knowledge but aren’t experts. In many situations, radiation experts are not immediately available to assist law enforcement personnel and emergency responders. Using InterSpec, even people with limited analysis experience can obtain the detailed radiation information they need to make quick decisions.

Read more here.