Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



This thesis describes significance of radiation detection and describes the design, build, and test of a radiation detection device called the Data Logging Radiation Detector. The device is capable of measuring alpha, beta, and gamma radiation and storing the resulting data to an SD card. The Data Logging Radiation detector consists of four major blocks: a DC-DC boost switched mode power supply, a Geiger-Müller tube, an ATMega328p microcontroller, and a removable SD card. The switched mode power supply generates the necessary high voltage to bias the Geiger tube. Alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays are then able to be sensed when they collide with the tube, resulting in a pulse of current from the tube that can be processed by the microcontroller. The microcontroller then writes the data in counts per minute (CPM) to an SD card. The switching power supply achieved an output voltage of 514 V and 71% efficiency. Mean CPM data agree with a commercial Geiger counter to within 5%. Results are discussed and potential improvements suggested.