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Design of a Do-It-Yourself Geiger-Muller Counter With Smartphone Mapping Application

Xiao, Jeffery B.; Seekamp, James M.; Chung, Long Kiu; El-Amir, Issa N.; Schiefer, Kai C.; Trimas, David J.; Tuey, Regina; Kearfott, Kimberlee J.1

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001053
OPERATIONAL RADIATION SAFETY
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Legacy Geiger-Muller (GM) survey meters recovered from fallout shelters have been used by several nuclear scientific societies as part of high school outreach programs. A donated antique instrument helps teachers demonstrate radiological principles, but fails to develop student's electronics skills, generate excitement for nuclear careers, or provide individuals with their own devices to explore the radioactive planet. A simple, affordable GM survey meter built by each student would increase direct engagement while providing hands-on experience with circuit-building, soldering, and computer programming. The inclusion of an affordable single-board computer as a component in the survey meter would enable students to tackle more various computer science and electronics projects, thereby potentially recruiting more students into technology and engineering. This paper details the challenges faced by an interdisciplinary undergraduate team designing an easy-to-assemble smart GM survey meter. Their iterative research, design, and testing process included modification to a basic circuit to enable use of different tube types, component cost reduction, application development, and data communication. The ultimate product of the team's efforts, a survey meter with affordable components and a smartphone application capable of creating radiation maps, is detailed in full.

1Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, 2355 Bonisteel Boulevard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2104

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Jeffery Xiao is currently a first-year master’s student studying medical physics at Duke University. He is a full-time student who is exploring options for part time employment and research work. His goal is to apply for residency pending graduation in 2020 and pursue a career in the clinical medical physics field.

Online date: April 5, 2019

© 2019 by the Health Physics Society