By Michael J. Haugh, Travis Pond, Christopher Silbernagel, Peter Torres, Kent Marlett, Fletcher Goldin, Susan Cyr
National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec), Livermore Operations, has two optical radiation calibration laboratories accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and is now working towards accreditation for its X-ray laboratories. NSTec operates several laboratories with X-ray sources that generate X-rays in the energy range from 50 eV to 115 keV. These X-ray sources are used to characterize and calibrate diagnostics and diagnostic components used by the various national laboratories, particularly for plasma analysis on the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF). Because X-ray photon flux measurement methods that can be accredited, i.e., traceable to NIST, have not been developed for sources operating in these energy ranges, NSTec, NIST, and the National Voluntary Accreditation Program (NVLAP) together have defined a path toward the development and validation of accredited metrology methods for X-ray energies. The methodology developed for the high energy X-ray (HEX) Laboratory was NSTec’s starting point for X-ray metrology accreditation and will be the basis for the accredited processes in the other X-ray laboratories. This paper will serve as a teaching tool, by way of this example using the NSTec X-ray sources, for the process and methods used in developing an accredited traceable metrology.