Gamma Spectrometer (hopefully)

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 12/05/2016 at 00:140 Comments

This all started with brainstorming about two years ago. I did a lot of the preliminary research and began to learn what a gamma ray scintillator does and how it does it. Then in early 2015 I started roughing out a design with the (later unsuccessful) goal of having something we could launch in the annual August flight. Due to not following my methodology closely I got distracted by the ground station tracking system that had been needing improvements since the WiFi project flight. Then life got in the way.

In November 2015 the second blow in the collapse of the energy industry hit and ate up all my free time. I am now back to part-time consulting and have the time and energy to restart this project.

In no particular order, here are the things I have done up to this writing:

The things I need to do now to get the project back on track and well defined are:

  1. Go back through all my notes and get "back up to speed" and where I was.
  2. Design the power supply and get parts. Then simulate it, tweak as required, and build a breadboard prototype.
  3. At this point I will have done the informal parts of my project steps and I need to go back and formalize them to build a proper plan of how to move forward to meet the balloon launch objective of August 2017 (along with all the needed test points and payload integration.

This is the first time I have experimented with "going public" on a project as it is being done. The old saying is, "sausage is a tasty treat, but you don't want to have to see it being made." Because of that I have been reluctant to share things until they were fully cooked. My hope is that by showing the process, it will keep me motivated and hopefully help others.

Onward to the edge of space!