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HSN-1000 Nuclear Event Detector (2005) [pdf] (maxwell.com)
36 points by andyjohnson0 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments



Previous discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3179645

The top comment there explains a good use-case for this chip.


This would be nice feature in home weather station.


Its minimum detection level is ~200Krad/sec (~2000Gy/sec). You would be extremely dead by the time it tripped.


Could put up one of those websites

is-there-an-ongoing-200krad-nuclear-event.com

[static html page saying "no."]


That does seem pretty intense. To be close enough to get that dose I'd imagine thermal/blast effects would be incredibly high anyways, rendering this chip pretty useless.


1 Gray is an absorbed dose of 1 J per kg, so a 2,000 Gy/s event would mean a typical 75 kg/165 lb human absorbing 150 kW.

This reminds me a bit of the XKCD question about how close you need to be to a supernova to die from neutrinos: inside it.


Or the XKCD question about how much energy would be needed to take the phrase "speed enforced by radar" literally - basically a fairly large nuclear weapon.


You could also try a bhangmeter:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhangmeter


I want one in a hat. Perhaps wired to a party popper, or small flag.


Is it possible for a normal person to order one of these? I can't seem to find a source.


I'm a sucker for T&M equipment and actually own a Geiger counter, but this is a bit much...


How would you even test this? do they have an xray machine and remove the filter?


You'd use a laboratory test source. It appears to be a miniaturized radiation detector, which trips when the gamma and/or neutron fluence exceeds a certain level. "Nuclear event detector" does not necessarily mean anything extreme like a bomb going off, it just means exposure to an amount of radiation (from any source) above a given threshold; it can't actually distinguish what the source is.

So testing and calibrating it would consist of exposing it to a source of known strength and making sure it trips. For this kind of setup, the source doesn't have to be an actual nuclear weapon going off or whatever target event, it'll trip for any sort of gamma or neutron source (presumably, it's light on details and I haven't ever seen one of these in the wild). There are a wide range of suitable industrial sources available commercially.

Edit: you can safely assume that the manufacturer provides a detailed calibration procedure wherever the more complete documentation is. Probably specifies what test sources to use and how to correlate them with different types of target events, which they determined through simulation and laboratory measurements. Also worth noting that this thing is very likely entirely analog, given its intended use.


Lookup up the 'z pinch' or more generally 'pinch machines'

I suspect that or a similar methodology is in use.


>Maxwell Technologies Specified, Controlled, Tested and Guaranteed

Oh no.




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