Developed by AeroSplice, the APOC Pro — which recently launched on Kickstarter — is an advanced open-source Gamma particle and X-ray radiation detector powered by an ATmega328 MCU.
According to its creators Matt Chapman and Marshall Meng, the primary goal of the APOC Pro is to inspire more people to become excited about both hardware and radiation. The device is relatively easy to program; in fact, Makers with any Arduino experience can modify the APOC Pro to include a wide-range of other desired features.
The APOC Pro is capable of logging data onto a micro SD card in readable format, which can later be analyzed by a web application that the team has developed. With permission, the app can display one’s data based on their location to other users located throughout the world.
Given its compact, portable design, the APOC Pro allows a user to take it with them on-the-go, whether that is around the house, on a hike or even to class.
While the screen displays counts per minute and μSv/hr (radiation absorbed dose), the team does emphasize that these settings can be changed to anything from backlight brightness and screen contrast to battery life indicator or SD card data saving options.
Aside from the Atmel ATmega328, other key specifications include:
- Comes with a USB Programmer (FTDI to USB Mini-B)
- Requires a 9V battery (A micro SD card is optional if you plan to log and analyze the data later)
- Current battery life is 50 hours on a 9V alkaline battery and 100 hours from a 9V lithium
- Energy detecting range: 50 keV – 2000 keV
- Max count rate: 5,000 counts per second
- Detector efficiency: 5% with Cs-137 (660 keV), 15% with Co-60 (1.1-1.2 MeV), 0.05% for Cd-109 (88 keV)
In addition to the APOC Pro, the team also offers the APOC Sensor. Essentially, is exactly the same sensor as in the APOC Pro, but without a microcontroller, screen, speaker, buttons or case. “This is perfect for radiation data collection with a microcontroller like the Arduino,” a company rep notes. “Perfect as a sensor for robots, UAVs, rockets or near space balloons. We will release source code and demos for the Arduino Uno, Parallax Propeller, and Raspberry Pi, and it will be easy to connect to others. It produces a positive going pulse on the signal wire when a Gamma or X-ray event is observed (perfect for the interrupt pins of the Arduino).”
The team has well-exceeded its initial goal of $5,000, having already garnered over $20,000 in a few weeks. Following its immediate success, AeroSplice has announced that they have stretched their goal to $40,000, after making some improvements to the sensor, which the team believes “will vastly improve the Gamma radiation sensitivity — by about 400%.”
If the team is able to reach its newly-defined target, they will be able to make the sensor capable of detecting Beta radiation. Interested in learning more or backing this megaAVR based device, head on over to its official Kickstarter page here.
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