NUCLETUDES and SODERN join their respective skills and know-hows

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Nuclétudes, a company specialized in radiation hardening tests and engineering, addressing the protection of equipment and systems facing a radiation environment,

and
Sodern, a company specialized in the design and production of neutron sources as well as detection and analysis equipment based on such sources,
join their respective skills and know-hows to provide all-inclusive neutron test services
Such neutron tests are a mandatory qualification step for equipment and systems that need to be operated in a neutronic environment.
Neutron tests are particularly relevant for defence and civil nuclear applications.
Neutron tests may also be of interest in aeronautics.
Indeed, the interaction of cosmic rays with air molecules generates atmospheric neutrons that can disturb electronic components.
Assessing in anticipation the sensitivity of the onboard avionics with respect to the atmospheric neutrons would allow characterizing its transient behaviour in such an environment. It would also be the right way to identify solutions that could be implemented to cope with such transient effects if needed.
This approach based on neutron tests would then be valuable when it comes to operational fleet management issues: it would avoid replacing untimely a healthy piece of equipment that would just have encountered an atmospheric neutron, which means it would avoid non necessary fleet management costs.
The all-inclusive neutron test service jointly proposed by Nucletudes and Sodern includes:

– the test plan definition according to the specified environment,
– the design and fabrication of the test bench that will emulate the electronic component or the piece of equipment during the test,
– the availability and implementation of a 14 MeV neutron source in a dedicated qualified facility,
– the realization and exploitation of the tests.
 
One may note that the Sodern neutron facility offers significant advantages such as:

– a large volume well fitted to install a test experiment including a complete piece of equipment,
– the possibility to use a large set of connections (usual cables, flat ribbons cables,…) between the irradiation
  chamber and the next door test monitoring room,
– the neutron beam that is triggered almost instantly while offering a good stability during the whole test duration.
 
Nucletudes and Sodern can also provide independent specific services:

– Nucletudes performs vulnerability analyses with respect to neutrons for equipment and systems,
– Sodern can rent its 14 MeV neutron test facility for a customer that would have the capability to take in
  charge the test definition and implementation on his own.

Contacts
For the all-inclusive neutron test service or for vulnerability analyses with respect to neutrons:
Patrick Trochet (Nucletudes)
Tel : +33 1 60 92 61 11
e-mail : ptrochet@www.nucletudes.com
 
To rent the 14 MeV neutron test facility:
Pierre Klein (Sodern)
Tel : +33 1 45 95 71 33
e-mail : pierre.klein@sodern.fr
 
 
About Nucletudes:                                                                                        
For more than 45 year, Nucletudes has acquired an extensive background and expertise in understanding radiation effects on electronic systems and mechanical structures, mastering the electromagnetic coupling phenomena, assessing the vulnerability, and ultimately hardening systems.
Nucletudes uses this know-how to tackle hardening and vulnerability issues for:
– military systems and equipment,
– space systems (satellites,…) and equipment,
– functional systems used in civil nuclear plants (equipment nuclearization),
– ground infrastructures (hardening with respect to lightning),
– aeronautic systems that might be sensitive to the natural radiation environment (atmospheric neutrons),
– systems that need to handle threats from directed energy weapons such as High Power Microwaves
Nucletudes covers the following technical fields:
– Transient Radiation Effects on Electronics (TREE) induced by the interaction of gamma rays and X rays and neutrons with electronics,
– Single Event Effects (SEE) induced by the interaction of neutrons and heavy particles with electronics,
– Electromagnetic effects induced by the interaction of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), High Power Microwaves and lightning with the system,
– Electromagnetic couplings induced by the interaction of X-rays with the system parts

About Sodern:                                                                                             
Since its inception more than 50 years ago, Sodern has become a company recognized worldwide for:
– its attitude sensors (star trackers, Earth sensors,…) and its high technology space instrumentation products,
– its neutron-based detection and analysis systems (raw material analysis for cement and mine industries, detection of dangerous or illicit materials concealed in luggage, detection of buried mines or chemical weapons),
– its neutron-based instrumentation systems, including especially its neutrons sources designed for industrial and laboratory applications.
Sodern designs and produces its neutron sources.
Sodern is constantly advancing its innovation and technology to higher levels to meet its customers’ needs. In recent years it has received three awards:
– the Aviation Week Award (2005; HYDRA Star Tracker),
– the Civil Defence Technological Innovation Trophy (2007; EURITRACK project),
– the NASA Achievement Award (2007; CALIPSO IR radiometer).
Sodern covers several leading edge technologies areas:
– neutron-triggering sources for French military systems,
– detection, analysis and security neutron systems (homeland security, online bulk material, etc.),
– equipment intended for satellite attitude control (Earth sensors, start trackers),
– Earth observation and onboard scientific instrumentation
– optics with the design and production of high performance applications for space, defence and industry.
For more information: www.sodern.com

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