University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Zenith: A Radiosonde detector for Rapid-Response Ionising Atmospheric Radiation Measurements during Solar Particle Events

Dyer, Alexander, Ryden, Keith, Hands, Alexander, Dyer, Clive, Burnett, C. and Gibbs, M. (2018) Zenith: A Radiosonde detector for Rapid-Response Ionising Atmospheric Radiation Measurements during Solar Particle Events Space Weather.

Zenith.pdf - Accepted version Manuscript
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Solar energetic particle events create radiation risks for aircraft, notably single event effects (SEEs) in microelectronics along with increased dose to crew and passengers. In response to this, some airlines modify their flight routes after automatic alerts are issued. At present these alerts are based on proton flux measurements from instruments on-board satellites, so it is important that contemporary atmospheric radiation measurements are made and compared.

This paper presents the development of a rapid-response system built around the use of radiosondes equipped with a radiation detector, Zenith, which can be launched from a Met Office weather station after significant solar proton level alerts are issued. Zenith is a compact, battery-powered solid-state radiation monitor designed to be connected to a Vaisala RS-92 radiosonde which transmits all data to a ground station as it ascends to an altitude of ~33 km. Zenith can also be operated as a stand-alone detector when connected to a laptop, providing real-time count rates. It can also be adapted for use on unmanned aerial vehicles.

Zenith has been flown on the Met Office Civil Contingency Aircraft (MOCCA), taken to the CERN-EU high energy Reference Field (CERF) facility for calibration and launched on a meteorological balloon at the Met Office's weather station in Camborne, Cornwall, UK. During this sounding, Zenith measured the Pfotzer-Regener maximum to be at an altitude of 18 - 20 km where the count rate was measured to be 1.15 counts s-1 cm-2 compared to 0.02 counts s-1 cm-2 at ground level.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Date : 19 January 2018
Identification Number : 10.1002/2017SW001692
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 American Geophysical Union. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords : Atmospheric Radiation; Rapid-response detector; Radiosonde
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 22 Feb 2018 11:08
Last Modified : 13 Mar 2018 15:51

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800