Modular Planar Germanium Detector Systems for High Resolution Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy and Tracking Arrays
The Department of Energy maintains germanium gamma-ray detector arrays for Nuclear Physics research. Germanium gamma-ray detector technology has been an important factor in the historic success of these user facilities. The present and next generation facilities would be most effectively utilized by larger germanium detectors providing better spatial resolution and higher count-ray capacity. New Modular Planar Germanium (MPGe) detector system development will provide a new detector basis for arrays at user facilities. Through collaboration with nuclear physicists, prototype MPGe detector systems will be evolved from concept to commercially available instruments. During Phase I, the original MPGe concepts were experimentally demonstrated. These measurements validated improvements in the operating characteristics of existing detector systems that established the feasibility of the new MPGe detectors for higher luminosity physics experiments. The concept was developed into a prototype MPGe design. The prototype MPGe design will used to make the first of a series of prototype MPGe detectors during Phase II. These detectors will be used to further develop algorithms to improve the detector performance. The detectors will be evaluated by nuclear physicists in conditions relevant to nuclear physics experiments. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to immediate impact at DOE user facilities performing nuclear physics experiments, the enabling detector technologies will impact nuclear security and nuclear medicine. Nuclear security and nuclear medicine represent large commercial markets. Nuclear security is the most immediately accessible market. Nuclear medicine is the very largest market, requiring a longer term approach. From growing germanium crystals to constructing final detector systems, the germanium-detector manufacturing process will always require good scientists, engineers, technicians, and association with research scientists at DOE facilities.
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