The McMaster NEUDOSE team is busy at work doing final preparations for our trip to the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) in Palestine, Texas. Our instrument team is participating in the High Altitude Student Platform program, which allows us to test our radiation detector system 30,000m above the ground! We will be heading south in less than two weeks for the integration and testing of our payload. Stay tuned for updates!
NEUDOSE members have been working hard to test the functionality of our tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC). Last week, members spent time at the McMaster University Accelerator lab using the Tandetron, a 1.25MV tandem accelerator, to test the TEPC. The TEPC is alive! We were able to measure some pulses!
In order to behave under radiation stress like a human cell, our radiation detector system is filled with a tissue-equivalent propane gas. It is of utmost importance that the gas is kept at an appropriate pressure on earth and in space! To ensure that the pressure vessel is safe, analysis is performed to ensure the vessel is strong enough to handle any load. Pictured here is the pressure vessel and the associated factor of safety at various points. This plot is the result of a thorough finite element analysis of possible loads and/or stressors.
We are busy at work testing electronic components! The CITIROC is a type of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) which we are utilizing to read the silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) in our radiation detection system. The image here shows a simulation of the performance of the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) of the CITIROC. The ADC converts the light signal from the radiation detector into a digital signal we can use in digital processing. This test bench is used to check the functionality of our designed electronic system and is critical in the success of our detector!
Two is better than one! When constructing and testing, it is crucial to construct multiple copies of components to allow for rigorous testing. Pictured here are two pressure vessels that enclose the radiation detector system. One test that the pressure vessels will undergo is a leak test to ensure that it can keep the gas inside at the appropriate pressure without leaking.
It is absolutely amazing to see designs come to life! This pressure vessel was designed completely by our team members, and here it is fully machined and welded. This pressure vessel will hold the tissue equivalent gas of our radiation detection system, and keep it under appropriate pressure to behave under radiation stress just like a human cell.
Yesterday NEUDOSE team member Erica had the pleasure of presenting the work done by our satellite team at the Quarterly Nuclear Energy Session for Natural Resources Canada. The group of government officials and industry executives were impressed with our team's progress. It was incredible to hear praise from such well established professionals in the nuclear industry! Pictured here are Colin Hoult (left), Deputy Director of Nuclear Strategic Policy for Natural Resources Canada, Diane Cameron (center), Director of the Nuclear Energy Division of Natural Resources Canada, and Erica (right) with our satellite.
Last week members from the McMaster NEUDOSE team spent the day with high school students to talk about our satellite project. More than 1,500 students, teachers, and mentors attended the FIRST Robotics Competition, hosted at McMaster University for the first time. Team members Mitchell, an engineering physics student, and Michael, a mechanical engineering student, were very engaging as they spoke with bright young students interested in science and engineering.
Do you or someone you know want to join the McMaster NEUDOSE team? We are recruiting! We are looking for some fresh new faces to join our exciting project! For information pertaining to recruitment, please visit our Recruitment page here!
Here is a close-up of the process of crimping the anode wire of the Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC). This anode wire collects charge from when radiation ionizes the gas that fills the TEPC. This technique is the primary method of radiation detection in our instrument.