Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Gamma Ray / X-Ray Detector Payload

Expand Messages
  • Bill Ripley
    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
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 14, 2014

      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

      (505) 503-7491 (Office)

      (505) 980-8353 (Cell)

      wcripley@...

      KY5Q@...

    • Barry Sloan
      NASA was concerned about film being fogged by radiation when they began sending cameras on manned flights, but found it wasn t a problem. You could try the
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 14, 2014

        NASA was concerned about film being fogged by radiation when they began sending cameras on manned flights, but found it wasn’t a problem. You could try the 3200 or 400 ASA films you mentioned and over develop them to push the ASA even higher, but each film type has a limited frequency response or radiation range over which it is sensitive and why special films are used for xray, infrared and similar applications. As for a dark room to package the film for a flight, you could buy (or possibly borrow) what’s used by photographers to load film into 4x5 view camera film holders or any other time film must be handled, like loading film into development tanks which is simply a light tight black bag with 2 openings for passing your hands through that fit tightly around the arm to prevent light leakage and a light tight zippered opening for getting the film, etc. in and out of the bag. Your biggest problem however will likely be finding a place that still develops film or a place to buy what’s needed to develop it yourself as few such places still exist with almost everyone now having moved on to digital photography, but your idea to contact your local dentist and get/use some Bitewing tabs is excellent. Not only are they sensitive to the radiation you wish to detect, but the film comes already packaged in a light tight pouch and your dentist will be able to develop them for you. I believe development of the film is fairly automated and not sure if the dentist has any control over the development time, but if he does I would send up at least 4 or 5 film pouches, only develop one to start and, if no fogging, start increasing the development time for each of the other pouches until fogging is seen, assuming there was some of course. I would double the last time used for each additional film. And if it takes longer than the usual development time to see fogging, I would then also process a film that wasn’t sent aloft for the same amount of time to confirm the fogging was due to radiation rather than from simply being over developed too long. The fastest B&W film I could get when I was in high school in the 60’s was 400 ASA which I used to use as 6400 ASA and develop myself in order to shoot high speed basket ball and similar indoor images for the yearbook using just the normal room lighting. I’ve long forgotten how much extra development was needed for each doubling of the ASA, but I found film could be over developed a fair bit and that the limiting factor wasn’t fogging, but the lack of contrast (i.e. the film density where exposed to light becomes increasing less black as the film is exposed less and developed longer).  Anyway, please report back if you proceed with the x-ray film as I would be very interested in knowing how well it works.  Something else you may want to consider doing, is to monitor sun spot activity and launch when extra high radiation levels are expected. We’ve included a Gamma / X-Ray Detector on a number of our recent flights for a UofA physics student and part of what he was doing was measuring the increase in radiation during a sun spot event.

        Barry
        VE6SBS
        bear.sbszoo.com

        From: GPSL@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GPSL@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill Ripley
        Sent: Friday, February 14, 2014 10:14 AM
        To: GPSL@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [GPSL] Gamma Ray / X-Ray Detector Payload

        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

        (505) 503-7491 (Office)

        (505) 980-8353 (Cell)

        wcripley@...

        KY5Q@...

      • Jim Hannon
        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
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 14, 2014
          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/*
          >
          > (505) 503-7491 (Office)
          >
          > (505) 980-8353 (Cell)
          >
          > wcripley@... <mailto:wcripley@...>
          >
          > KY5Q@... <mailto:KY5Q@...>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          --
          WB0TXL
          WEB Page http://www.ocrslc.net/
          Blog http://jimhannon.wordpress.com
          CoCoRaHS station IA-LN-7
          42,11.90N,91,39.26W
        • L. Paul Verhage
          I flew dental x-ray film back in 1997. Nothing was detected. I would strongly encourage you to get an Aware Electronics RM60 geiger counter. I think they re
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 14, 2014

            I flew dental x-ray film back in 1997. Nothing was detected. I would strongly encourage you to get an Aware Electronics RM60 geiger counter. I think they're the least expensive, high quality Geiger counter that you can use with the microcontroller.

            Paul

            On Feb 14, 2014 12:14 PM, "Jim Hannon" <jmhannon@...> wrote:
            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/*
            >
            > (505) 503-7491 (Office)
            >
            > (505) 980-8353 (Cell)
            >
            > wcripley@... <mailto:wcripley@...>
            >
            > KY5Q@... <mailto:KY5Q@...>
            >
            >
            >
            >
            --
            WB0TXL
            WEB Page http://www.ocrslc.net/
            Blog http://jimhannon.wordpress.com
            CoCoRaHS station IA-LN-7
            42,11.90N,91,39.26W




            ------------------------------------

            Yahoo Groups Links

            <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GPSL/

            <*> Your email settings:
                Individual Email | Traditional

            <*> To change settings online go to:
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GPSL/join
                (Yahoo! ID required)

            <*> To change settings via email:
                GPSL-digest@yahoogroups.com
                GPSL-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

            <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                GPSL-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

            <*> Your use of Yahoo Groups is subject to:
                http://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/

          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.