2 days ago •
Muon Detection Rate Data
One of the muon detectors (cosmic-array-2-3) has been turned on and left running for an extended period of time and the event data collected, and is displayed in the graph below. (Click on the image to see all the details as the axes don't show up on black with the transparent background.)
- The large break in the data was when I was at Linux.Conf.Au., doing a presentation on the project (and at the embedded miniconf). The other break was when I had to unplug the detector because it was stopping someone in the family going to sleep.
- The detector has been aligned oriented North-South with the power lead pointing North.
- In this detector, the Red(0), Green(1), Blue(2) channels have been wired into the RaspberryPi in the order Red,Blue,Green, which doesn't match the other detectors. Blue and green channels have been swapped.
- The colours in the graph do not match the channel colours.
Observations on the data:
- Channel 2 has a consistent rate of about 130 counts per 2 hours (120 sec) over the entire period.
- Channels 0 and 1 start at the same rate, but increase together to almost double in the second half of the graph before falling back to around 50% higher than channel 2.
- A daily cycle of minimums and maximums can almost inferred between 2018-02-01 and 2018-02-08 (if you squint a little bit).
This data was collected directly on RaspberryPi Zero W in the Cosmic Array muon detector (cosmic-array-2-3) and logged to a file in the form of 'timestamp channel', where the timestamp is a Unix timestamp (seconds since 1 Jan 1970) with microseconds.
All scripts and data are available in the Github repository - PaulSchulz/cosmic-array-science
01/28/2018 at 04:06 •
Upgrading a Cosmic Array detector element for standalone use.
Recently I upgraded a Cosmic Array detector element for standalone use. This includes replacing the Raspberry Pi Zero W with a full Raspberry Pi 3B for faster processing speed and improved audio.
Original unit used in Cosmic Array installation.
Wiring was improved to reduce noise and GMT cables were replaced with HV Teflon coated RG178 coax to reduce false muon counts. With the addition of external connectors for access to electronics including RPi3 USB, LED Driver, DC Power and direct Audio out from RPi3.
Inside unit with upgrades
Operating detector with upgrades
In the original concept of this detector I planned to drive acoustic instruments from the output of the detector. But due to budget and time constraints a raspberry pi zero w was chosen to play wave files. Consequently it is design to drive solenoids or contractors directly. This modification allows the user to drive anything from large gones to glockenspiel to other electronic or midi devices.
Note each LED output driver pulls low to 0V/Ground.
- 01/20/2018 at 03:31 • 0 comments
11/05/2017 at 10:35 •
We setup the Cosmic Array in quite a large space at the rear of Maker Faire Adelaide at 8am.
Left to right - The Cosmic Array, then some units opened up so people can look inside, then my early Drift Hodoscope, then my 81 Pixel Hodoscope which was connected to a computer to play music and regenerative graphic.
Although it doesn't look it. It was quite busy as we where located right at the end of the Maker Faire.
Above is Paul Schulz, who has developed code for the Cosmic Array and was a great help all day. He will be doing a presentation at the next - linux.conf.au 2018.
A very busy day lots of questions and was the Winner for best backyard science.
10/30/2017 at 07:00 •
I am currently busy preparing for Maker Faire Adelaide this weekend and so I will have the 16 detectors running live, along with other detectors I have made and more details on its operation.
Maker Faire Adelaide is the largest Maker Faire in Australia and in the Southern hemisphere. Also the only Maker Faire solely run by volunteers. So if you are in Adelaide this weekend come and say hi!
10/06/2017 at 04:02 •
I'm currently exploring a new solid-state detector design using Pin Si Photodiodes, this is still a few months away. But will be a feature of a new cosmic ray detector designs to come. The main issue with using Geiger–Müller tubes and Photomultiplier scintillators as detectors is mostly cost. But also includes limited life and high voltages between 400 to 1600V DC which must also be low noise and regulated.
Solid state devices particularly Si Pin Photodiodes are capable of measuring both ionising radiation (Muons) and some added benefits like energy resolution, low voltage, low power, greater longevity and lower cost. But do have issues and compromises such as: more complexity, noise, and a small aperture size.
There are some specialist Photodiodes designed specifically for this application, but these are very expensive and difficult to source in small quantities for example:
- Manufacture First Sensor Part # 5014450 - has visible light filter
- Manufacture First Sensor Part # PS100B-7-CERPINE - has visible light filter
- Hamamatsu Part # S3590 - no visible light filter
Here is an example using the First Sensor 5014450 and an old CD V-700 Geiger Counter check source which is radium 226Ra. Although successful, the detector is expensive (~$50au) and still only has a relatively small aperture compared with a Geiger–Müller tube, so multiple detectors would be required.
There are lower cost of-the-shelf Pin Photodiodes such as the BPW34F which have been featured in many DIY radiation detector projects over the years. However, these have an even smaller aperture. So many will need to be connected together to increase it. However, they can not be simply wired in parallel due their combined capacitance. Here is rough layout that I have began experimenting with using JFETs to buffer each photodiode before amplification.
09/06/2017 at 09:26 •
The Splash Adelaide installation was very successful will allot of public interest and questions. The IoT setup also went well and we were able to live stream data to another computer where it was mapped into music using MAX/MSP software. The sounds in the following video include bell sounds from each detector and also the combined musical soundscape generated in MAX/MSP.
- 09/02/2017 at 08:01 • 0 comments
09/01/2017 at 13:25 •
The last 2 months I have been preparing for my first demonstration project with an installation of an array of 16 detectors in Adelaide Elder Park, South Australia as part of the Winter Splash Adelaide. It was a lot more work than I expected, but I'm pleased to report it has been successful. It will be installed on the 2/9/2017. More to report soon. Here is a video of the build process from prototype to completed units tested in my back yard. The sound of the detectors will be recorded at the event soon.
07/30/2017 at 05:41 •
The software for the detectors has been installed on the SD Cards, and prepared for posting to Robert for installation in the Raspberry Pi Zero's.
This installation contains new audio files.
The OS Image being used is Raspbian Jessie (2017-07-05-raspbian-jessie-lite).
A Raspberry Pi 3 is used as it provides a wired network interface, as well as a screen and keyboard.
Once the OS Image has been written to the SD Card (16GB), it is booted with screen and keyboard attached and via the configuration tool (raspi-config), the hostname is set (cosmic-array-*-*), the SSH service is enabled and the Pi is rebooted.
SSH keys are manually copied to the card using ssh-copy-id.
An ansible playbook is used to connect to the system via SSH and setup the wireless, additional packages and to checkout the cosmic-array software from GitHub. While this might be slightly overkill for individual cards, these configuration tools will allow all 16 detectors to be modified and updated easily later on.
Finally, the 'config/install.sh' script is run from the cosmic-array software to setup boot parameters (audio system overlay), programs started on boot and audio volume settings. This script will probably be included in the ansible setup process in the future.