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Ion Chamber and GM Counter

NSSDCA ID: 1959-004A-03

Mission Name: Explorer 6
Principal Investigator:Dr. John R. Winckler


The instrumentation for this experiment consisted of a Neher-type integrating ionization chamber and an Anton 302 Geiger-Mueller tube. Due to the complex nonuniform shielding of the detectors, only approximate energy threshold values were available. The ion chamber responded omnidirectionally to electrons and protons with energies greater than 1.5 and 23.6 MeV, respectively. The GM tube responded omnidirectionally to electrons and protons with energies greater than 2.9 and 36.4 MeV respectively. Counts from the GM tube and pulses from the ion chamber were accumulated in separate registers and telemetered by the analog system. The time that elapsed between the first two ion chamber pulses following a data transmission and the accumulation time for 1024 GM-tube counts were telemetered digitally. Very little digital data were actually telemetered. The ion chamber operated normally from launch through August 25, 1959. The GM tube operated normally from launch through October 6, 1959. NSSDC has all the useful data that now exist.

Alternate Names

  • Explorer6/IonChamberandGMCounter


  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Robert A. HoffmanOther InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Roger L. ArnoldyOther InvestigatorUniversity of New
Dr. John R. WincklerPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of Minnesota
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