Detector, Radiation, Geiger, Viking


Display Status:

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

Detector, Radiation, Geiger, Viking

Collection Item Summary:

Experimental Geiger tube similar to those flown on Viking sounding rockets. The pillbox-like shape was designed to allow these detectors to be stacked and flown as an array. These counters comprise a gas filled tube with a outer cathode and a short wire anode in the middle, hidden by the opaque entrance window, probably aluminum, that was designed to filter out all radiation less energetic than x-rays. Photons of energetic radiation that enter the tube will ionize the filling gas making it electrically conductive. This will cause a discharge to flow bewteen the anode and the cathode. This results in a countable electrical signal. This artifact is part of a collection of high energy detectors from the Naval Research Laboratory (see Catalogue#s 19880001000-19880017000). It was transferred to NASM in 1987.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from the Naval Research Laboratory

Country of Origin

United States of America


  • Cover - aluminum
  • Geiger tube - glass
  • Tube - chrome iron


3-D: 4.1 x 1.9cm (1 5/8 x 3/4 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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