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Next Generation Gamma/Neutron Detectors for Planetary Science

Award Information

Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
114738
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
S1.09
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street Watertown, MA 02472-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Next Generation Gamma/Neutron Detectors for Planetary Science
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX13CM33C
Award Amount: $666,612.00
 

Abstract:

Gamma-ray and neutron spectroscopy are well established techniques for determining the chemical composition of planetary surfaces, and small cosmic bodies such as asteroids and comets; however, new technologies with the potential to significantly improve the performance of planetary nuclear spectroscopy are emerging. We propose to develop new gamma-ray and neutron detectors based on wide-band-gap (WBG) solid-state photomultiplier (SSPM) photodetectors coupled to emerging scintillation materials such as Cs2YLiCl6:Ce (CLYC), and CeBr3 for gamma and neutron spectroscopic studies of planet surfaces and small cosmic bodies. The proposed SSPM photodetector for scintillation readout is based on AlGaAs, a WBG compound semiconductor with aluminum concentration of 60% to 90%. The ~2-eV band-gap energy of this material is engineered to match the emission spectrum of both CLYC and CeBr3. The high band-gap of AlGaAs also provides much lower dark noise and better radiation tolerance than Si-based detectors. Compared to conventional PMTs, the compact size, low voltage operation, and lighter weight of AlGaAs SSPM is ideal for spaced-based instruments. The advantages of AlGaAs SSPMs and the excellent detection properties of CLYC and CeBr3 scintillation materials make them a perfect match in the development of new gamma and neutron spectrometers for planetary science.

Principal Investigator:

James Christian
Principal Investigator
6176686801
JChristian@rmdinc.com

Business Contact:

Marisa Eva
Business Official
6176686854
mekon@rmdinc.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street Watertown, MA -

EIN/Tax ID: 262897516
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No