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Integrated Sample Counter

The Bladewerx SabreISC™, Integrated Sample Counter, is a field-deployable alpha/beta sample counter that provides high-sensitivity alpha and beta activity determinations on filters and swipes.  It can determine radon working levels or it can perform real time compensation for radon-decay products when trying to detect other alpha-emitting isotopes-of-interest.  Samples no longer need to be stored for several days for radon progeny to decay before being able to assess longer-lived activity.  The SabreISC can be configured with up to two alpha-emitting isotopes-of-interest and has the unique ability to match an unknown peak to the nearest radionuclide in the user-editable isotope table.  It simultaneously measures beta and is a fully integrated instrument with a high resolution color LCD/touchscreen and electronically-controlled sample drawer.  It is available in alpha/beta and alpha-only configurations.


  • Available in alpha/beta and alpha-only configurations

  • Determines activity of up to two non-radon isotopes with simultaneous beta reporting

  • Automatic Radon background subtraction

  • Displays detection limit VS elapsed time — via live “Strip Chart”

  • Simplicity of design makes for easy decontamination

  • Alpha spectroscopy using Bladewerx’ peak-shape-fitting technology

  • Ability to “Match” unknown isotopes from a user-defined list

  • Time saving feature — automatic count time determination mode

  • Integrated Windows-based software for analysis & control

  • International version available using SI units and adapted power supply

Ruggedized Construction

SabreISC is enclosed in a metal housing and features an electronically driven sample drawer with interchangeable sample holders that provide for repeatable sample geometry for up to 2-inch diameter filters and swipes. The solid-state ion-implanted detector, detector power supply, amplifier, multi-channel analyzer, and PC are all built-in to the housing. Removing the upper cover provides clear access to all the internal components. The SabreISC is designed for convenient benchtop use with it’s incredibly small-footprint and internal 1-hr battery-backup. Weighing less than 7 lbs. (3 kg), the SabreISC is the lightest computer controlled sample counter available with LCD touchscreen operation.  When equipped with the “Field Ready” option, which includes a sturdy handle and extended battery life, the SabreISC is easily transported and used in the field.

Display and Control

The integrated SabreISC analysis and control software is a Microsoft® Windows 7-based application that provides complete instrument control, calibration, data analysis, and data logging capabilities.  A 7-inch diagonal WVGA high-resolution (800 x 480) color display and touchscreen provides for a clear and intuitive user interface.  Spectrum analysis and separation of radon decay products is possible through the use of the well-proven Bladewerx alpha peak-shape fitting algorithm.  For simplified energy calibration, the user interface employs simple point and drag operations to position peak locators on the spectral display.  Anther time-saving feature is the minimum count time mode where—based on user-defined action level and confidence bounds—the instrument sample count is terminated as soon as the user-defined constraints are met.

Radon Concentration Mode

The SabreISC provides for a radon concentration (i.e. Working Level) determination of a fixed air sample, allowing the user to enter the sample time for the filter, the sample volume, and aging time after removal from the fixed sampler.  During a radon concentration count, the algorithm monitors the decay times of individual radon and thoron decay products to determine the 222Rn and 220Rn concentrations, along with their respective equilibrium levels.  Customers accustomed to doing Kuznetz or modified-Tsivoglou counts will find this mode saves time and complexity.


Alpha Peak-Shape-Fitting

A state-of-the-art peak shape fitting algorithm is used to separate the alpha spectrum into the contributions from its constituent nuclides and quantify the spectrum counts from radon decay products along with one or two user-defined isotopes-of-interest.   Alpha peak shape fitting is a technique that uses the profile of an alpha isotope peak to create a composite curve of multiple peaks which best fit the actual spectrum.  Because the individual nuclide peaks are independently determined, the separation of nuclides is not impacted by the radon equilibrium state or peak ratio changes during the decay process.  Precise fitting of the 218Po tail results in excellent resolution of alpha-emitters below 5.5 MeV, in many cases allowing the software to resolve 239Pu from 241Am.


The SabreISC also includes a “match” mode where each radionuclide in the user-editable Isotope List is tested against the spectrum and the isotope with the “best fit” is reported.  This feature allows the customer to set the primary isotope-of-interest for the radionuclide of highest likelihood, and let the software test for any other possible activity sources.


Sample Logging and Reporting

At the termination of a count, a hard-copy sample analysis report can be printed or saved to a USB drive.  In addition, the SabreISC software creates a database of the results of each user-initiated count—whether the count completed normally, was canceled, or finished with an activity above the action level.  The database uses the comma-separated-variable (*.csv) format, recognized by most spreadsheet and database software.

Need more details?

Take a look at the full SabreISC Spec Sheet.

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