An easy-to-operate portable pulse-height analysis system for area monitoring with TEPC in radiation protection
A portable area monitor for the measurement of dose-equivalent quantities in practical radiation-protection work has been developed. The detector applied is a low-pressure proportional counter (TEPC) used in microdosimetry. The complex analysis system required has been optimized with regard to low power consumption and small size to achieve a real operational survey meter. The newly designed electronic includes complete analog, digital and microprocessor boards. It presents the characteristic of fast pulse-height processing over a large (5 decades) dynamic range. Three original circuits have been specifically developed, consisting of: (1) a miniaturized adjustable high-voltage power supply with low ripple and high stability; (2) a double spectroscopy amplifier with constant gain ratio and common pole-zero stage; and (3) an analog-to-digital converter with quasi-logarithmic characteristics based on a flash converter using fast comparators associated in parallel. With the incorporated single-board computer, the maximal total power consumption is 5 W, enabling 40 hours operation time with batteries. With minor adaptations the equipment is proposed as a low-cost solution for various measuring problems in environmental studies.