A nuclear explosion results in a complex combination of signals including radioactivity released to the environment, seismic, infrasound, and hydroacoustic. The International Monitoring System (IMS) was established to detect these signals and analysts around the world train in the interpretation of them. However, the unique combination of signals indicative of a nuclear explosion is only fully replicated in the IMS by an actual nuclear explosion, which is a rare event. While analysts can train with synthetic data, exercising the operational IMS hardware and process was impractical until a signal injection methodology called RaFTS (Radiation Field Training Simulator) was demonstrated by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Developed for radiation detectors such as those in IMS radionuclide/noble gas (RN/NG) stations, RaFTS injects pulses directly into operational detectors which are then interpreted through their electronics in the same way as real signals. Because of the universality of the RaFTS signal injection approach, it could also work with other IMS detector types, including seismic, infrasound, and hydroacoustic, thereby enabling a system-wide exercise of all IMS operating components. This presentation describes the proposed approach to enhance training and operationally exercise the entire regime. RaFTS was recently licensed for commercialization to Argon Electronics (UK) Ltd.
Exercising the system represents a unique scientific opportunity and method for improving nuclear test monitoring and verification in a systems manner, including modeling/simulation of representative signatures, to their detection and interpretation.