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Detector, Electron Multiplier

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Display Status:

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:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Manufacturer

Bendix Corp.

Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Materials

Overall - metal and glass, electronics

Dimensions

3-D: 8 x 3.3 x 2.9cm (3 1/8 x 1 5/16 x 1 1/8 in.)

See more items in

National Air and Space Museum Collection

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

INSTRUMENTS-Scientific

Inventory Number

A19950049000