The Versatile Neutron Imaging Instrument at SNS

VENUS: Neutron imaging to advance energy efficiency

VENUS: Neutron imaging to advance energy efficiency.

As its name indicates, VENUS is designed to be as versatile as possible to encompass the largest range of applications, while being fully optimized to benefit from the unique capabilities of SNS.

The range of cold to epithermal neutrons at SNS will give users of VENUS access to novel imaging methods, as well as to significantly improved existing methods. The epithermal flux available at SNS will provide additional possibilities for contrast extension and/or enhancement.

The time-of-flight (TOF) neutrons provided at SNS will offer easy and cost-efficient access to energy-selective imaging, hence making use of neutron scattering Bragg features for improved contrast and identification of phases in an absorption image.

The high peak flux of SNS is useful for stroboscopic imaging of repetitive or cyclic motions and is synchronized to a selected neutron energy range for enhanced image contrast. VENUS will also provide simultaneous x-ray imaging capabilities, as a complementary imaging modality.

The energy, E, or wavelength, l, of the neutrons can be determined by TOF:
where t is the time of detection, te is the time of emission, and L is the distance between the source and the detector.
The energy dependence is important because many samples have crystalline components where Bragg scattering can give significant energy-dependent, material-specific variations in attenuation. Microstructures and textures can be energy-dependent mapped, along with residual stress (by detection of Bragg shifts). At SNS, all energies are collected at once, reducing acquisition time from several days to a few hours, with the luxury of acquiring neutron data at the highest TOF resolution achievable. This provides the freedom to later combine, divide, and post-process the data in two and three dimensions.


  • Energy storage
  • Materials science
  • Engineering
  • Geosciences
  • Botany
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Archeology