Geiger Müller tubes on flights

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Lewis
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Geiger Müller tubes on flights

Post by Lewis » 10 Oct 2019, 03:16

Hey.

I was wondering if taking a pancake detector style GM tube with a thin MICA window onto an airplane as hand baggage would distroy it due to the changing air preasure.

Iv heard that the cabin preasure can deivate upto 8000 feet AGL which is the maximum rated altitude for most GM tubes.

Iv certainly seen smaller geiger counters survive just fine on airplanes(example: gamma scout), but i dont wanna pay 150$ for a replacement probe if its any different for larger GM tubes.

Thanks.

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Geoff
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Re: Geiger Müller tubes on flights

Post by Geoff » 14 Oct 2019, 08:41

I'm not sure if it would be safe as I've never done it. I've only taken scintillation detectors when travelling. However, living in Alaska required the majority of my mail to come by air and I've had three different thin window GM tubes sent to me without issue. None of them were in pressurized packaging.
Geoff Van Horn

Anchorage and Deadhorse Alaska

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Svilen
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Re: Geiger Müller tubes on flights

Post by Svilen » 14 Oct 2019, 19:21

I guess nobody can guarantee it, but you may have good chances not to loose the tube.
I got one Ludlum model 44-9 probe with a LND7311 GMT shiped all the way from USA to Europe in a non airtight container and it survived. But the producer warns in the manual that "The GM tube face can rupture above 8000 feet in altitude", so cases like this should also exist.
I also have one Philips ZP1431 with d~30mm mica window, which flew between eastern and western Europe and also survived, but of course we have to ship at least 10, to different locations and then make a conclusion.

I don't know which detector do you use, but if it is with an external probe, maybe you can get one russian SI-8B tube, which are shown from different users to survive at high altitude and even if not, you loose half the amount of money you mentioned :)
Svilen

Lewis
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Re: Geiger Müller tubes on flights

Post by Lewis » 15 Oct 2019, 00:22

Svilen wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 19:21
I guess nobody can guarantee it, but you may have good chances not to loose the tube.
I got one Ludlum model 44-9 probe with a LND7311 GMT shiped all the way from USA to Europe in a non airtight container and it survived. But the producer warns in the manual that "The GM tube face can rupture above 8000 feet in altitude", so cases like this should also exist.
I also have one Philips ZP1431 with d~30mm mica window, which flew between eastern and western Europe and also survived, but of course we have to ship at least 10, to different locations and then make a conclusion.

I don't know which detector do you use, but if it is with an external probe, maybe you can get one russian SI-8B tube, which are shown from different users to survive at high altitude and even if not, you loose half the amount of money you mentioned :)
Thanks for the reply.
Im planning on buying a Radiation Alert Ranger EXP. According to the specs listed on www.geigercounters.com, its using a:

”RAP-RS2 Probe - External Halogen-quenched, uncompensated GM tube with thin mica window, 1.4-2.0 mg/cm2 areal density. Effective diameter of window is 45 mm (1.75 in.)”

So basically, a very common pancake style GM tube for detecting alpha, beta & gamma/xray’s.

Lewis
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Re: Geiger Müller tubes on flights

Post by Lewis » 15 Oct 2019, 00:24

I'm not sure if it would be safe as I've never done it. I've only taken scintillation detectors when travelling. However, living in Alaska required the majority of my mail to come by air and I've had three different thin window GM tubes sent to me without issue. None of them were in pressurized packaging.
Sounds like either the 8000 feet AGL thing is a relatively sand-bagged estemate or modern airplanes maintain they’re cabin preasure relatively well.

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Svilen
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Re: Geiger Müller tubes on flights

Post by Svilen » 15 Oct 2019, 00:46

Sounds like either the 8000 feet AGL thing is a relatively sand-bagged estemate or modern airplanes maintain they’re cabin preasure relatively well.
I think these both are true indeed.
Svilen

ColoRad-o
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Re: Geiger Müller tubes on flights

Post by ColoRad-o » 18 Oct 2019, 08:40

I have taken a data-logging GM counter (a Mazur PRM 9000 with an LND 7317 pancake GM tube) on a flight of a few hundred miles. It operated fine and the radiation rate (as is well known) depends so sensitively on altitude (at least for ordinary flights) that it could be used as a crude altimeter. I found that count rates increased by a factor of 25 between cruising altitude and sea level.

Take a look at https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1 ... /4/003/pdf for more.
D. M. Wood, retired physics professor
Arvada, Colorado (USA)
SAFECAST member (bGeigie Nano)

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