AMETEK INTRODUCES THE ORTEC® MICRO-DETECTIVE Ultra-light Weight Hand-held Radioisotope Identifier

OAK RIDGE, TN – The ORTEC business unit of AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology has introduced the latest addition to the ORTEC Detective family of hand-held nuclide identifiers – the Micro-Detective. These high-performance, high-resolution systems were designed for use at border crossings, cargo ship docks and transportation terminals to detect and differentiate between potentially dangerous radioactive materials and otherwise harmless radiation sources

Weighing a mere 15 pounds, the Micro-Detective offers a dramatic reduction in size (50%) and weight (40%) than the original Detective introduced in 2004. The Micro-Detective meets or exceeds ANSI N32.34 radioisotope identification standards and, in addition, is able to identify many new radionuclides recently adopted for use in medicine and industry.

The Micro-Detective uses the same real-time analytical approach as all ORTEC Detective identifiers. Its proprietary software was developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory specifically for the purposes of identification of illicit nuclear material. Micro-Detective’s rugged and splash resistant case is completely sealed to protect all external connections from moisture. It has no fans or vents to allow dust or other particles into the instrument. Even its charger is located inside the unit. Initial shipments of the Micro-Detective began in April 2008.

Since its inception in 2004, the Detective family of nuclide identifiers has represented a breakthrough in radiation detector technology by reducing existing bulky equipment into a lightweight, battery-powered device that can be either permanently mounted or fully portable. They employ high-resolution, high-purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma ray detectors with ultra-reliable, high-efficiency miniature Stirling coolers.

By combining HPGe gamma-ray detectors with specially developed “expert” algorithms, the handheld Detective is able to positively identify nuclear materials through their gamma ray signatures without expert intervention, even in situations where active attempts at concealment, such as shielding or masking, are made. By incorporating an internal moderated neutron detector, the Detective is able to confirm the presence of “fissile” nuclear materials (uranium or plutonium) through their neutron signature.

ORTEC has more than 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of highly sensitive radiation detectors that are used by government and industrial laboratories, nuclear facilities and medical research and in nuclear safeguards. It is one of only two manufacturers worldwide with the ability to produce both high-purity germanium and high-resolution radiation detectors from it.

For more information, contact ORTEC Products Group, 801 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0895. Telephone: 865-482-4411, Toll free: 800-251-9750. Fax: 865-483-0396. Website:

AMETEK AMT is a division of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annualized sales of nearly $2.1 billion.

< | >