DECO: crowdsourced cosmic ray detection

Justin Vandenbroucke University of Wisconsin—Madison assistant professor of physics and a researcher at the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC) – See more at: link

The Flotonix PocketPb will also be a sensor network for cosmic rays with a specific purpose: to detect heavy metals in our drinking water continuously and automatically.

The science behind this is presently applied in Homeland Security to detect nuclear material in shipping containers. Read more about the Decision Sciences system here.

To detect lead at ppb in water requires a large area collector and a continuous integration. Even though this does not give the immediate local detection offered by XRF, it in principle can monitor an entire water system through extended sensor area and networked data collection.

Lead contamination does not happen suddenly, although in the Flint MI example contamination was rapid and accompanied by smells and discoloration.

The PocketPb system consists of four camera chips in a “water pipe sandwich” and a wifi transmitter that can connect to a cloud data accumulator just like the DECO project. There concentrated super computing power generates a map of muon angular deflection which is directly related to the atomic weight of the attracting nucleus.


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