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New, affordable, open-hardware neutron monitor electronics

P. Kruger, H. Krueger, H. Krueger, C. Diedericks, D. Malan

in 35th International Cosmic Ray Conference

Contribution: pdf


The Center for Space Research has been operating four neutron monitor (NM) stations since the 1960s and has also developed mini neutron monitors, initially to calibrate the stations. To upgrade the aging electronics in the NMs, a new electronic system has been developed.

The aim of the new electronic design is to be modular so that it can be easily adapted to stationary or mobile NMs. The system uses commercial-off-the-shelf components and publicly-available software where possible. The software and hardware designs will be made freely available to the international NM community. The system is also designed for easy maintenance and calibration. It is affordable, shielded against electromagnetic interference and it makes the data available on the internet in real-time.

The electronic system also features a fast acquisition system for pulse shape recording and microsecond accurate event timestamps. The pulse profiles are used for calibration and integrity testing to ensure long term stability. The accurate timestamps make multiplicity and time-of-arrival studies possible.

Some first measurements with the new electronic system are presented and compared to previous systems.