Gadget Renesas

Linking Ideas and Electronics

GR Atelier

Title:Gamma Ray Spectrometer for Interior Use

Displayed Name:Digi-Ponta

Gamma Ray Spectrometer for Interior Use

Concept / Overview
Concept & gadget explanation:
Is the dosimeter you labored so hard to get simply gathering dust now, some years after the disaster? Remember, your measuring instrument is meant to serve you on a daily basis.
This gadget detects gamma ray values and displays them visually, soothing you each day as part of your home interior. The detected value of gamma ray energy is reflected in luminescent color gradation. The instrument measures and readjusts its displayed levels every few minutes under normal conditions.

The idea behind the gadget & happy users

The Challenge:

As 30 years have elapsed since the Chernobyl accident, and 5 years since Fukushima, non-affected areas no longer actively measure radiation levels, and Geiger counters (dosimeters) are simply gathering dust. This means you’ll have no right to complain if an emergency happens, and will remain unaware of what is occurring. Moreover, current educational guidelines are leaving us ignorant of radiation and radioactivity, a situation I hope will be corrected.


Happy Users:
General citizens, families, public facilities


The idea:
Inspired by the notion that thermometers and hygrometers are part of typical home interiors, I thought residences should also have an instrument providing ongoing awareness of radiation levels in a soothing way. The gadget should encompass a gamma ray spectrometer specifying the cause of any detected radiation, with results visually displayed in the home interior.


The result

This gamma ray spectrometer for home interior use was created in 2013, with an overview and photos on view at the following URL:


General principles of gamma ray spectrometers:  
The energy emitted by gamma rays differs depending on their source. In nature, materials known as scintillators convert this differing energy into varying intensities of light. Sodium iodide is a commonly used example of such material. Measuring light intensity with sodium iodide additionally discloses gamma ray energy, but a highly sensitive optical sensor is required as the light emission is weak. A noise-resistant photomultiplier is often used as an optical sensor.


Extra considerations:
This interior-use gadget expresses detected gamma ray energy (via sodium iodide scintillator + photomultiplier) exceeding a set level as color phase luminescence matching the detected level. GR-SAKURA is used to measure detected gamma ray signals and also for overall control, after confirming that the GR-SAKURA’s ADC could be used at high speed for signal measurement. The gadget was set to perform measurements every few minutes and reflect set levels to create a soothing presence. Displayed gamma ray values reflect relative, not absolute, values when differentiating between everyday and unusual circumstances.




Demo Video