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ANSI N42.38

Amendment 1, December 17, 2018

Amendment 1 Only

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American National Standard for Performance Criteria for Spectroscopy-Based Portal Monitors Used in Homeland Security Amendment 1

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Description / Abstract:

This standard specifies the operational and performance requirements for spectroscopy-based portal monitors (SRPMs) used in homeland security applications. SRPMs have the ability to detect radioactivity and identify radionuclides that may be present in or on persons, vehicles, or containers through the use of gamma spectroscopy techniques.

Operational requirements established by this standard include radiation detection and radionuclide identification, and those requirements associated with the expected electrical, mechanical, and environmental conditions when a SRPM is deployed. The test methods described in this standard provide a means to ensure that a SRPM meets the requirements stated. Successful completion of the tests described in this standard should not be construed as an ability to successfully detect and identify all radionuclides in all environments.

This standard does not address portal monitors that may have the ability to reduce the effects caused by the presence of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) without the ability to identify specific radionuclides. Monitors with this capability are addressed by ANSI N42.35.


The purpose of this standard is to specify the performance criteria and test methods for SRPMs used for homeland security. Testing is conducted under a set of conditions to determine if an SRPM meets the requirements of this standard. Special applications, which could include an SRPM’s operation under weather conditions not addressed by this standard, shall require additional testing. Detection needs not addressed by this standard shall also require additional testing, e.g., estimation of the background depression due to vehicle presence, masking, or shielding configurations.

Obtaining operating performance that meets or exceeds the specifications stated in this standard depends upon properly installing the SRPM, establishing appropriate operating parameters, providing security for the systems, maintaining calibration, implementing a suitable routine testing and maintenance program, auditing compliance with quality requirements, and providing proper training for operating personnel.