Digital Neutron Dosimeter

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Abstract

Design details for a portable battery-operated neutron dosimeter are described. The system employs a 50-mil PIN detector diode, whose forward voltage increases with exposure to fast neutrons. Because this change is permanent and cumulative, the system is able to integrate small doses (from 0 to 1000 rad) over long periods of time. The system is temperature compensated over its operating range of −40°C to + 52°C. Display accuracies of ± 20 rad for readings below 100 rad and ± 20% for readings above 100 rad are maintained throughout the range. Temperature correction is performed digitally after an initial analog-to-digital conversion of both the forward diode voltage and the ambient temperature. System flexibility is promoted with the use of a replaceable ROM for the final voltage-to-dose conversion table. This digital approach to temperature compensation, combined with the extensive use of CMOS circuitry, suggests the use of custom large-scale integration as a means of further reducing system size and weight. This possibility, as well as others, is discussed as a means of reducing system size. Test and evaluation results are also included.

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