This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Collection Item Summary:
Bendix manufactured this open cathode electron multiplier and detector circa early 1960s, typical of detectors flown on early OSO spacecraft. The cathode is not enclosed in a glass or other insulating envelope since it was designed to work in the vacuum of space. A sufficiently energetic UV photon striking the cathode at the entrance grid of the device results in the release of one or more electrons. The first of a series of permanent magnets then directs the emitted electrons onto a strip of specially coated glass. This results in the release of a large number of secondary electrons. Repetition of this process leads to a cascade of charge with the resulting current gain as high as 10 million fold.
The detector was transferred to NASM by NASA (GSFC) in 1995.
Collection Item Long Description:
National Air and Space Museum
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Overall - metal and glass, electronics
3-D: 8 x 3.3 x 2.9cm (3 1/8 x 1 5/16 x 1 1/8 in.)
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National Air and Space Museum Collection
Country of Origin
United States of America