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Apparatus for detecting alpha radiation in difficult access areas

United States Patent

5,663,567
September 2, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
An electrostatic alpha radiation detector for measuring alpha radiation emitted from inside an enclosure comprising an electrically conductive expandable electrode for insertion into the enclosure. After insertion, the electrically conductive expandable electrode is insulated from the enclosure and defines a decay cavity between the electrically conductive expandable electrode and the enclosure so that air ions generated in the decay cavity are electrostatically captured by the electrically conductive expandable electrode and the enclosure when an electric potential is applied between the electrically conductive expandable electrode and the enclosure. Indicator means are attached to the electrically conductive expandable electrode for indicating an electrical current produced by generation of the air ions generated in the decay cavity by collisions between air molecules and the alpha particles emitted from the enclosure. A voltage source is connected between the indicator means and the electrically conductive enclosure for creating an electric field between the electrically conductive expandable electrode and the enclosure.
Steadman; Peter (Santa Fe, NM), MacArthur; Duncan W. (Los Alamos, NM)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
08/ 657,744
May 31, 1996
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention generally relates to the detection of alpha radiation, and, more specifically, to apparatus for detecting alpha radiation in difficult access areas, such as glove boxes. This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.