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NRL Demos Chemical Spectrometer Tool in Round-Robin Exercise

The Naval Research Laboratory fielded a mass spectrometer that gauges electronic, cosmo, geo-chemical and nuclear materials during the Nuclear Signatures Inter-laboratory Measurement Evaluation Program exercise.

Evan Groopman, a research physicist at NRL, said in a statement published Wednesday the NAUTILUS tool analyzed electronic, nuclear and extraterrestrial material compositions in test samples taken from International Atomic Energy Agency missions. 

"We are happy with the results of this exercise because it demonstrates that our up-and-coming group can both build a novel instrument for the Navy and apply it to a wide variety of problems, performing as well or better than laboratories that exclusively perform a single type of analysis using commercial instrumentation," Groopman added.

According to NRL, the samples emulated nuclear safeguard and environmental sampling operations. David Willingham, a research chemist and head of NRL's accelerator mass spectrometry section, said NRL correctly identified all isotopic compositions in the international round-robin demonstration.