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Proton-Electron Scintillation Detector

NSSDCA ID: 1962-051A-05

Mission Name: Explorer 14
Principal Investigator:Mr. Leo R. Davis


This experiment was designed to measure the directional fluxes and spectra of low-energy trapped and auroral protons and electrons. It employed a 5-mg-thick powder phosphor scintillator covered with a 1000-A aluminum coating. Additional absorbers were inserted in the detector aperture by a 16-position stepped wheel. The aperture was pointed at 45 deg to the spin axis. Due to the thinness and type of phosphor, the detector in the pulse mode would respond only to low-energy ions, and, therefore, essentially measured the flux of protons that penetrated the absorbers and stopped in the phosphor. Both the pulse counting rate and the phototube current were telemetered once each frame period. Sixteen readings were telemetered in each wheel position, and thus one complete set of data was obtained every 256 frames (one wheel revolution = 80 s). Protons in seven energy ranges were measured. The high-energy limit was about 10 MeV for all ranges, and the low-energy cutoffs were 97, 125, 168, 295, 495, 970, and 1700 keV. The energy fluxes of electrons in three ranges were measured separately using scatter geometry, absorbers, and the phototube current. The low-energy cutoffs were 13, 21, and 25 keV, and the high-energy cutoff was about 100 keV for all three ranges. The electron measurements worked throughout the life of the satellite. The proton channel slowly became intermittent and by mid-December 1962 was inoperative. Due to the spacecraft coning, it was difficult to obtain the directional intensities.

Alternate Names

  • Explorer14/Proton-ElectronScintillationDetector
  • Ion-Electron Scintillator

Facts in Brief

Mass: 1.4 kg
Power (avg): 0.5 W
Bit rate (avg): 0.06 kbps

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • 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
Mr. James M. WilliamsonOther InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Mr. Leo R. DavisPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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