Wavelet analysis of gamma-ray spectra

C. J. Sullivan, S. E. Garner, K. B. Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Since September 11, 2001, there has been increasing interest in providing first responders with radiation detectors for use in the search for and isotope identification of potentially-smuggled special nuclear material (SNM) or radiological dispersal devices (RDDs). These devices are typically comprised of low-resolution detectors such as NaI, thus limiting their identification abilities. We present a new technique of wavelet analysis of low-resolution spectra for the use in isotope identification. Wavelet analysis has the benefit of excellent feature localization while, unlike with Fourier analysis, maintaining the signals frequency and time characteristics. We will demonstrate this technique with a series of gamma-ray spectra obtained from typical hand-held isotope identifiers, illustrate figures-of-merit to be applied to these results, and discuss future algorithm optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-286
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
Event2004 Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference, Symposium on Nuclear Power Systems and the 14th International Workshop on Room Temperature Semiconductor X- and Gamma- Ray Detectors - Rome, Italy
Duration: Oct 16 2004Oct 22 2004


  • Gamma-ray spectroscopy
  • Isotope identification
  • Wavelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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