Test Track Overview

The Interdiction Technology and Integration Laboratory (ITIL) is designed to be flexible and expandable so that research and test scientists can replicate field conditions at U.S. and foreign ports of entry and military bases where the detectors are used. The facility houses radiation portal monitors, or RPMs, along with the necessary supporting systems that make up a deployed radiological interdiction system. The equipment can be arranged to simulate actual port configurations to conduct functional demonstrations, system integration, and regression testing. It can be configured to test new components and upgrades to existing equipment or to troubleshoot operational issues. Training on the systems is also provided for facility personnel and approved visitors. Procedures are developed and tested for the systems installed at the facility and field applications. The track also can be used to conduct forensic analyses on the equipment as it ages. When a test is completed, the equipment is returned to a standard configuration.

The test track includes three traffic lanes in each of two test areas and the capability to use multiple test beds per lane. Power and data communication are provided throughout each test area and are also included at each corner of the track. This infrastructure facilitates the use of ancillary equipment, such as lane cameras, gate arms, traffic control lights, and weather monitoring stations.

The test track enables researchers to examine the interaction between active interrogation (radiography) and multiple passive radiation detection systems simultaneously. The 400-meter lit, paved track has two separate three-lane-wide testing areas with room for 30 fixed-site systems. This is very useful for understanding the impact to system performance from interference and cross-talk effects often experienced in high-density port environments.

The ITIL maintains a full suite of interdiction sensors and the supporting technology used at U.S. and foreign ports of entry and military bases today. These radiation detection systems support PNNL's world-leading research in support of nuclear interdiction methodologies.

In addition to testing new systems or technical refinements, work at the test track also includes troubleshooting, maintaining, and enhancing the performance of deployed configurations. This type of work is important in ensuring new systems perform as expected and that performance enhancements will have the desired effect when put into service in the field.

Radiation detection is a core science competency at PNNL. The ITIL benefits from proximity to the dozens of radiation detection experts located in the nearby Radiation Detection Laboratory.

Control Room

From the Control Room, researchers can directly observe test activities in a climate-controlled environment. For example, researchers can simulate a port where the officers are monitoring scanning operations at multiple gates from a centralized location or command center.

High Bay Overview

The high bay laboratories, as part of the overall ITIL, are a highly flexible and dynamic test bed. The large indoor space can be used to carry out complex tests year-round in temperature- and environmentally-controlled spaces. The testing layout is completely customizable and adaptable for a wide variety of test activities. Prior testing has included detailed handheld detector testing, and realistic backpack testing using a range of radiation sources located nearby. Source-control systems include programmable conveyor belts, pop-up stationary systems, and wireless data readout support systems. This space can also be used to simulate conveyor and walkthrough RPM systems that are typically deployed at express consignment courier facilities (FedEx, for example), international mail, and preclearance sites.

Conlin Laboratory

This room, like the rest of this facility, is set up to be fully adaptable and to allow researchers to conduct bench-top experiments, assemble components, hold informal meetings, and collaborate. During a large test campaign, this space can become the temporary work location for the test team and test observers.

How to Navigate

Look for symbols embedded on photos throughout PNNL's virtual tour to explore cutting-edge instruments located in our modern laboratories. Pan throughout locations using the arrows.

You may also use the floor plan image to navigate by clicking on the orange dots. You may close the floor plan image at any time by clicking the red "X" in the upper right hand corner.

The last option for navigating the tour is via a drop down menu in the upper right of the tour window. You may select a location from the drop down menu and the tour will transition to that location.