With the dissolution of the USSR in the early 1990’s, Eastern Bloc borders were porous, Soviet nuclear scientists were hungry, and the threat posed to the United States from a smuggled nuclear weapon was palpable. In response to this, a working group was active within the DoE Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) which sought to explore novel solutions to countering this threat. One conclusion of this group was that our ability to sense these threats needed to be ubiquitous; that every policeman, border agent, and first responder should be equipped with a radiation sensor, and that this would significantly improve our ability to detect, locate, and counter a nuclear threat quickly.
Sensor Technology Engineering was founded in 1996 to address the need for an effective radiation detector that could be distributed broadly amongst Law Enforcement and First Responder personnel. From that vision, the original Radiation Pager was born. The Radiation Pager quickly became entrenched with U.S. Federal Agencies and soon spread to State and Local organizations, and then to our allies overseas. The Radiation Pager was the first broadly used Personal Radiation Detector (PRD), and tens of thousands of these units have now been delivered.
Following the success of the Radiation Pager, STE expanded its product portfolio to create additional class-leading products such as the Handheld Radiation Monitor (HRM), the Linear Radiation Monitor (LRM), and the RadPack Max.
All of these products have been developed in accordance with a philosophy that mission-critical field sensors should be reliable, rugged, and simple to operate. They should require minimal training and should be built for a long operational life, at low operating cost. Above all else, the sensors must be sensitive, so we’ve committed to using the best detectors available – large Cesium Iodide crystal scintillators with quality photomultiplier tubes for gamma radiation, and high-pressure Helium-3 tubes for neutron detection.
Based in Santa Barbara, California, Sensor Technology Engineering was acquired by the HEICO Corporation in 2018. HEICO is a U.S. company, focused primarily on aerospace technologies and manufacturing. HEICO is based in Hollywood, FL.