Research Mentor(s): Kimberlee Kearfott, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences/Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 16
This project was created to develop a simple, smart, and low cost alternative to the commercially available Geiger-Müller (GM) radiation detection systems for use in the classroom. Unfortunately, the complexity of circuitry and software of professional grade equipment is too large for most students. A kit was developed that consists of GM tubes recovered from fallout shelters, a Raspberry Pi computer, assorted basic electronics components (resistors, capacitors, inductor, transistors), and a printed circuit board (PCB). All components have through hole technology (THT) mounting to facilitate students learning soldering. The limited number of components allows for an affordable design that someone with basic electronics knowledge can build and understand. The system features a command line interface and smartphone application, enhancing opportunities for students learning not present with commercial systems. The original design for the project had a flaw where the circuit would attempt to put 5V on a 3.3V GPIO pin on the Raspberry Pi which would damage it. This work reports on a new design that has a reworked circuit that uses an operational amplifier to protect the general purpose input output (GPIO) of the Raspberry Pi and add stability to the circuit to ensure the components operate in their intended voltage regions. In addition, there were test points that were added to help debug the circuit and the PCB was redesigned to make it easier to solder. The smartphone application was also improved for publication on both Android and iOS platforms.