Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Carl W. Baum, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Harlan B. Russell

Committee Member

Dr. Robert J. Schalkoff

Committee Member

Dr. Yue Wang


This work focuses on detection analysis and search strategies for nuclear radiation sources in metropolitan areas with mobile sensor networks. A mobile sensor detecting a stationary nuclear source experiences continually changing statistics. In this work we provide an analysis of the probability of detection of a nuclear source that incorporates these continual changes. We apply the analysis technique to several patterns of motion including linear and circular paths. Analysis is also presented for cases in which there is a significant vertical offset between source and mobile sensor (the three-dimensional problem). The resulting expressions are computationally simple to evaluate and have application to both analysis and simulation of nuclear detection systems in a variety of scenarios. In metropolitan areas, with vehicles equipped with detectors and Global Position System (GPS) devices, we consider the design of a robust detection system to provide consistent surveillance. Various strategies for providing this surveillance with a mobile sensor network are considered and the results are compared. Both time-from-last-visit based algorithms and detection algorithms that utilize both time and probability-of-miss estimates are considered. The algorithms are shown to perform well in a variety of scenarios, and it is further shown that the algorithms that utilize probability information outperform those that do not.



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