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SFD Experiment on Equator-S Satellite

The Scintillating Fibre Detector development project was started in 1990 as a collaborative background research project between ESTEC Radiation Effects Unit (QCA) and the Dutch company SENSYS. The aim of this project was to characterize the detector response to different types of radiation and to determine its applicability to monitoring of the space radiation environment. This work resulted in a publication at RADECS '93, 'Scintillating Fibre Detector System for Spacecraft Component Dosimetry' by C.P.W. Boeder (SENSYS), L. Adams and R. Nickson (ESTEC). In 1994 an experiment was proposed under the ESA Technology Demonstration Programme to investigate space radiation effects in Power-MOS transistors. The carrier for this experiment was to be EQUATOR-S. At that time it was also proposed to incorporate a 3-channel Scintillating Fibre Detector with two fibres co-located with the transistors to monitor the internal environment and the third fibre mounted outside the unit to monitor the external environment. The Power-MOSFET experiment was later withdrawn and it was proposed to fly the Scintillating Fibre Detector (SFD) as a stand-alone experiment to monitor the space environment. For this purpose one fibre was heavily shielded to exclude electrons and the two remaining fibres lightly shielded to respond to both electrons and protons. For the latter the electronics was modified so each fibre covered a different range of count rates while maintaining high sensitivity. One of the lightly shielded fibres was subsequently replaced by a developmental Spinel scintillator which should provide higher sensitivity. This is the final configuration of the EQUATOR-S experiment.


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