Neutron detector development for microsatellites

Julia G. Bodnarik, Dave K. Hamara, Vladimir Buliga, Joanna C. Egner, Michael Groza, Walter M. Harris, Liviu Matei, Keivan G. Stassun, Ashley C. Stowe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a preliminary design for a novel neutron detection system that is compact, lightweight, and low power consuming, utilizing the CubeSat platform making it suitable for space-based applications. This is made possible using the scintillating crystal lithium indium diselenide (6LiInSe2), the first crystal to include 6Li in the crystalline structure, and a silicon avalanche photodiode (Si-APD). The schematics of this instrument are presented as well as the response of the instrument to initial testing under alpha, gamma and neutron radiation. A principal aim of this work is to demonstrate the feasibility of such a neutron detection system within a CubeSat platform. The entire end-To-end system presented here is 10 cm x 10 cm x 15 cm, weighs 670 grams and requires 5 V direct current at 3 Watts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIX
EditorsRalph B. James, Michael Fiederle, Arnold Burger, Stephen A. Payne, Larry Franks
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612419
StatePublished - 2017
EventHard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIX 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 7 2017Aug 9 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceHard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIX 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • 6LiInSe2
  • CubeSat
  • Neutron detection instrument
  • Radiation
  • Scintillator
  • Si-APD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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