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Relative Humidity in Limited Streamer Tubes for Stanford Linear Accelerator Center's BaBar Detector

Description: The BABAR Detector at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center studies the decay of B mesons created in e{sup +}e{sup -} collisions. The outermost layer of the detector, used to detect muons and neutral hadrons created during this process, is being upgraded from Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs) to Limited Streamer Tubes (LSTs). The standard-size LST tube consists of eight cells, where a silver-plated wire runs down the center of each. A large potential difference is placed between the wires and ground. Gas flows through a series of modules connected with tubing, typically four. LSTs must be carefully tested before installation, as it will be extremely difficult to repair any damage once installed in the detector. In the testing process, the count rate in most modules showed was stable and consistent with cosmic ray rate over an approximately 500 V operating range between 5400 to 5900 V. The count in some modules, however, was shown to unexpectedly spike near the operation point. In general, the modules through which the gas first flows did not show this problem, but those further along the gas chain were much more likely to do so. The suggestion was that this spike was due to higher humidity in the modules furthest from the fresh, dry inflowing gas, and that the water molecules in more humid modules were adversely affecting the modules' performance. This project studied the effect of humidity in the modules, using a small capacitive humidity sensor (Honeywell). The sensor provided a humidity-dependent output voltage, as well as a temperature measurement from a thermistor. A full-size hygrometer (Panametrics) was used for testing and calibrating the Honeywell sensors. First the relative humidity of the air was measured. For the full calibration, a special gas-mixing setup was used, where relative humidity of the LST gas mixture could be ...
Date: December 15, 2005
Creator: Lang, M.I.; /MIT; Convery, M.; /SLAC; Menges, W. & /Queen Mary, U. of London
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department