Long-term radiation damage to a spaceborne germanium spectrometer

P. Kurczynski, R. H. Pehl, E. L. Hull, D. Palmer, M. J. Harris, H. Seifert, B. J. Teegarden, N. Gehrels, T. L. Cline, R. Ramaty, D. Sheppard, N. W. Madden, P. N. Luke, C. P. Cork, D. A. Landis, D. F. Malone, K. Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The Transient Gamma-Ray Spectrometer aboard the Wind spacecraft in deep space has observed gamma-ray bursts and solar events for four years. The germanium detector in the instrument has gradually deteriorated from exposure to the ≈ 108 p/cm2/yr(> 100 MeV) cosmic-ray flux. Low-energy tailing and loss of efficiency, attributed to hole trapping and conversion of the germanium from n- to p-type as a result of crystal damage, were observed. Raising the detector bias voltage ameliorated both difficulties and restored the spectrometer to working operation. Together, these observations extend our understanding of the effects of radiation damage to include the previously unsuccessfully studied regime of long-term operation in space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 11 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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