Intrepid Particle Detector

PI: Dayne Kemp, Anh Nguyen (Co-I), NASA/Ames Research Center

INTREPID is a highly integrated gamma / neutron particle detector. It utilizes specialized scintillators coupled with an array of silicon photomultipliers to detect the particle environment. Particle events are conditioned, digitized and processed in real-time to reduce data overhead. This combination of technology and data processing enables unprecedented miniaturization. The balloon flight will enable the first data sampling using intrepid in a high altitude radiation environment, validating the sensor.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA08 Science Instruments, Observations and Sensor Systems
Problem Statement

Exploration beyond Earth requires the understanding and composition of the space and surrounding environments. Existing technologies are physically large, fragile, power hungry and/or require post-processing. INTREPID is a low-cost highly integrated COTS-based instrument that can detect, and discriminate between, neutrons and gamma rays. Such an instrument will allow us to characterize the radiation environment on small satellite or rover-based platforms and assist in identifying potentially habitable environments and resource exploration.

Technology Maturation

Functional and performance test of the Intrepid particle detector in a space-like environment.
Start TRL: 4
End TRL: 6

Future Customers

NASA CubeSat programs, CubeSat based astrophysics science mission, planetary exploration with micro drills on compact rovers. Applications: Geochemical analysis (prospecting), radiation analysis, astrophysics.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    NASA Directed
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 Balloon

Development Team

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