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13793Re: [GPSL] Gamma Ray / X-Ray Detector Payload

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  • Jim Hannon
    Feb 14, 2014
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      Bitwings should have a built in intensifying screen. So would be much
      better at detecting gamma rays than plain film. The screen is something
      that glows in visible light when struck by x rays (gamma rays) for the
      most part this light is what exposes an x ray film.

      Problem is the radiation level at altitude are not that much more than
      at ground level. If an hour at altitude could expose the film enough to
      see then a few weeks on the ground would do the same.

      I assume you want something inexpensive but you would get better results
      flying a Geiger counter.

      Jim Hannon

      On 2/14/2014 11:14 AM, Bill Ripley wrote:
      > My wife and I have been brainstorming ideas for a student-built Gamma
      > Ray / X-Ray Detector for the upcoming student HAB launch
      > Typical lore has you putting very fast B/W film inside of a light tight
      > box and flying it, then counting the zits on the developed photo. This
      > is a lot easier said than done, we think. I have found some Illford B/W
      > 3200 ASA film at my local "real camera store". Then the problem becomes
      > what do you do with it? I thought about taking something like an
      > oatmeal container, cutting it down to around 2" high and using it as a
      > drum to put the film in. I think you could cut a piece of film the
      > length of the circumference of the can, and put it into the can, put on
      > the top, then cover the whole thing in black photographic masking tape
      > to keep out the light. Of course, doing the film handling would have to
      > be done in a totally dark "darkroom", without even the typical red
      > light. Actual camera shops that have darkrooms are rare, but I think I
      > found one in ABQ. Maybe someone that works there would be willing to
      > help us get the film in, out and process it. The packaging would also
      > have to be sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of flight. Does anyone
      > have any better idea?
      > Question for you physicists out there: Do we ned to use ASA 3200 film,
      > or is ASA 100 or 400 fast enough? At what point can you do the work
      > with a red-light darkroom where you can see something?
      > I had another thought. What about contacting my local dentist office
      > and getting a dozen Bitewing tabs? Do you think that the frequency
      > response and sensitivity of this film is sufficient to capture X-Rays
      > and Gamma Rays on a HAB run? The packaging would be much simpler. From
      > an elementary school science perspective, you could build up a foam
      > strip with cut-outs for the bitewing tabs, maybe 6 per payload. 2 would
      > be unshielded. 2 would be shielded with a cut up lead film bag. 2
      > would be shielded with aluminum foil. If I assume that the Bitewing
      > tabs are fast enough, I would expect to see differences in the number of
      > "hits" on the film, depending on the shielding.
      > Plan would be to fly 2 identical payloads, one on each balloon, and
      > compare the results.
      > Thoughts?
      > Bill Ripley
      > */New Mexico Space Studies/*
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