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Skyshine Contribution to Gamma Ray Background Between 0 and 4 MeV

Description: Natural gamma-ray background is composed of four components; which include cosmic rays, cosmic ray produced atmospheric activity, terrestrial sources, and skyshine from terrestrial sources. Skyshine is radiation scattered from the air above a source that can produce a signal in radiation detection instrumentation. Skyshine has been studied for many years but its contribution to the natural background observed in a detector has not been studied. A large NaI(Tl) detector was used to investigate each of the four components of the natural background using a series of 48-hour measurements and appropriate lead shielding configured to discriminate contributions from each component. It was found that while the contribution from skyshine decreases rapidly with energy, it represents a significant portion of the background spectrum below ~500keV. A similar campaign of measurements using a HPGe detector is underway.
Date: August 14, 2009
Creator: Mitchell, Allison L.; Borgardt, James D. & Kouzes, Richard T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department