The HAWK from NATS Incorporated is the Smallest ANSI N42.42 & N42.43 Compliant Handheld High Germanium Detector-Based Isotope Identifier with a Smart Phone User interface


The Hawk from NATS Incorporated is an ultra light weight portable High Purity Germanium Detector Based Hand Held Nuclide Identification Gamma ray spectrometer. It is compliant with ANSI Standard N42.42 and N42.43.

The Hawk has superior functions, better reliability, energy resolution, and data transmission capability to supervisory computers using smart phone technology compared to all other commercially available Portable Radionuclide Identifiers (RIID) using high purity Germanium detector technology . The system has the shortest cooling time, lowest power consumption, longest operational time, among all other systems in its class.

The Hawk provides a complete range of functions and features which are offered by regular Laboratory grade High Purity Germanium detector based Gamma Spectroscopy Systems. The easy to use touch screen user interface for the Hawk provides a digital 16K MCA with full electronics, data acquisition and advanced analysis software with rapid nuclide ID and classification by SNM, Medical, NORM, and Industrial isotopes.

The Hawk runs off low power batteries for 20 hours. And the fastest data communication capability with any remote computer using the capabilities of a smart phone.

The Portable Hawk System Includes:

  • Detection Unit based on HPGE (Planer or non Planer detectors) with cool down times of 1 hour
  • MCA and all Signal Processing
  • Connected Touch screen PC with ANDROOID operating system that also allow easy file transfer by GPS (see below)
  • Superior communication capability over Smart Phones with any remote computer
  • Gamma Dose rate Meter
  • Gamma Ray Analysis Software with editable Library with full qualitative and quantitative analysis and classification of isotopes based on Special
  • Nuclear Material, Industrial Isotopes, Naturally Occurring Isotopes, and Medical Isotopes.
  • Global Positioning System
  • Battery with up to 20 hours operational time
  • USB Port and ability to control from Desktop PC

Some noticeable aspects of the Hawk design include:

Its Size and weight

The Hawk is the world’s smallest High Purity Germanium Detector based Field Spectrometer and with weight less than 5 kg it is indeed a field unit easy to transport and use.

The Cooling Time

With a cooling time of less than 1 hour this unit can be made operation in very short time and often on route to a site.

Communication capability of the data from field to Supervisory Staff at remote location

The Imbedded computer is an Android based TABLET smart phone making the device very easy to use and communicate. Any spectral file can be sent via WIFI or 3G/4G data lines to another device or to a supervisory computer at the touch of few finder strokes. If Field Users are accustomed to using popular smart phones, they will easily master the use of this device.

All the Advantages of Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) Cooling

While NATS offers an electrically cooled version of the field spectrometer as offered by other commercial Vendors (at higher price), one should note that there are several advantages in Liquid Nitrogen cooling; and disadvantages below of higher priced electrically cooled units (although we have both types of systems- LN2 cooled and Electrically cooled):

  • Electrically cooled systems have a Cool down time (8-12 hours)
  • Electrically cooled systems compromise Resolution due to degradation from micro phonics, notwithstanding “low noise” coolers (noise may be
  • lower but not eliminated compromising the very advantage of the Germanium)
  • Larger draw on battery power limited maximum operational time to 3 hours or less (compared to 20 hours with the Hawk)
  • Electrically cooled systems have greater probability of failure & maintenance cost
  • And we do not think there is adequate data to show that frequent turning on/off of the system without temperature cycling has no effect of performance or durability of the cooler or the detector.

On the issue of Availability of Liquid Nitrogen (LN2)

  • The Hawk System requires only about a one liter of LN2 which is contained in a small commercially available coffee flask.
  • A flask of LN2 can be used to cool down the detector in less than one hour, on-route to the site

Low Power Device

The Hawk is a very low power device that pulls the minimum amount of power and this after cooling for less than 1 hour it provides up to 20 hours of working time without the need to swap batteries unlike other power draining devices.

Superior MCNP Characterization allowing full qualitative and accurate quantitative analysis

NATS Provides different types of irregular objects which we provide in our systems will improve the qualitative and quantitative capability – identify and quantify the amount of radioactive material more accurately without going through a calibration for each unique geometry. Our characterization is less expensive, and provides much better control of any types of geometry modeling directly to Users. Optional Collimator sets and EFFMAKER to provide Monte Carlo Neutron Transport Code (MCNP) based modeling of the source and characterization of provides the greatest flexibility to the User to literally model any type of source term without intervention/return to the factory.

Better reliability and Lesser Mean Failure Rates

The design simplicity focused on the application provides the User an easy to use device that is devoid of the complexities that raises operational cost and mean failure rates. Our design ensures simplicity, reliability and minimum failure of this device making it the best from price to performance criteria.

Flexibility in choice of detectors

The Hawk Units are sold with what we would classify a lesser expensive PLANAR GERMANIUM Detector by other commercial Vendors as well as Germanium detectors with relative efficiencies up to 20%. NATS offers both Planer and Non Planar detectors.

If you need a common sense field unit that is affordable, ultra light, and operates without the problems inherent in some of the expensive devices; and addresses the real needs in 90% of the applications, then the HAWK is your solution.

NATS designs and manufactures certain instruments, provides customized designs for systems, and integrates products and systems using a list of partners specialized in the Radiation Field located in the USA and Europe.

NATS currently offers instruments and systems used in all aspects of nuclear radiation detection and analysis. These areas include nuclear spectroscopy, radiation dosimetry, health physics, environmental analysis and in medical applications.

NATS offers systems for Users in Nuclear Power Plants, Homeland Security Agencies, Customs and Border Patrol, National Atomic Energy Agencies, Nuclear Regulatory Agencies, Hospitals, and in Research Establishments worldwide.

List of additional NATS products and services used in radiation detection and analysis are listed below

  • High Resolution Gamma spectrometry solutions
  • High Resolution X-Ray Systems
  • Medium Resolution Gamma spectrometry systems based on Lanthanum Bromide, Cerium Bromide and     NaI detectors
  • Sample changes for high throughput Gamma spectroscopy systems
  • Low level Alpha/Beta counting systems
  • Alpha Spectroscopy Systems
  • Liquid Scintillation Analysis Systems
  • In-Situ Spectroscopy Systems
  • Field Inspection and Nuclide Identification Systems
  • Whole Body and In-Vivo counting Systems with Analysis Software
  • Body Contamination Systems based on Sealed Gas Detectors
  • Waste assay systems: Fixed and Portable
  • Portals monitoring and Border Control Systems
  • Advanced Early Radiation Monitoring Systems (RMS) based on Gamma, Particulates, and Iodine CAM/PIFF
  • Mobile Inspection Vehicles
  • Mobile Radiation Laboratories
  • External Dosimetry systems and accessories
  • Educational and Training Systems
  • Instrument Calibration