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Detector, OSO-E, Channeltron, Linear Array


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Detector, OSO-E, Channeltron, Linear Array

Collection Item Summary:

One of a set of specialized ultraviolet detectors in the collection. This is a linear array of nested channeltron detectors identical to systems used on the OSO-E coronal spectroheliograph to provide 2-dimensional imaging. The design of these Bendix tubes is based on the same principle by which photomultiplier tubes convert visible light into electric signals. The detector consists of a hollow tube of semi conductive glass with an electrode at each end. When an ultraviolet photon strikes the inner surface of the evacuated tube it causes electrons to be released from the surface. These speed to the oppositely charged electrode releasing additional charges as they hit the side of the tube. The resulting cascade of charges has the net effect of greatly amplifying the signal from the initial ultraviolet photon. It was transferred to NASM in 1988 by NASA (GSFC).

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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


Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Block - plastic and metal


3-D: 2.5 x 3.8 x 1.9cm (1 x 1 1/2 x 3/4 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number