Not completely inert, yet

A project log for Gamma Ray Spectroscopy - small, cheap

The goal of this project is to design a light weight gamma ray scintillator in a 1u CubeSat frame

sparks.ronsparks.ron 01/20/2019 at 04:320 Comments

Even though I have been focused on getting my lab back together and working on my weather station project, I have not been fully idle on this project.  The circuit I designed for the weather station anemometer "time between pulses" is a very slow speed version of what this project will use to determine the pulse width and the effective energy for any true Gaussian pulses. That is why I designed it without timing elements or a capacitor based one-shot.  For the high speed version required here there will be a lot of layout and component criticality, but the concepts will still hold.

I also began a "dry fit" of the PMT tube and crystal into the diagonal of the cubesat frame mock-up I was given. It doesn't quite fit. That will leave me with a few choices: 1) shift to a 2u form factor, 2) look for a shorter PMT, or 3) attempt to roll the PMT leads down the sides to gain a few millimeters. I am not sure if option 3 will be enough though.  The diagonal of the cubesat seems to be long enough, but then when the diameter of the assembly is considered, it interferes.  I am also worried that if the fit is too tight there will not be any room for needed shock and vibration mounting.

I'm looking forward to getting back on this project, but realistically it may have to wait for summer when it is too hot here to do the outside things that are currently being attended to.  It seems interesting to me that we have an opposite climate issue to those in more northern latitudes.  They do their inside projects in the winter and are outside in the summer. Here in the steamy gulf coast we do inside projects in the air conditioning during July-September and are outside the rest of the time.