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Development of an operational neutron spectrometry system dedicated to the characterization of the natural atmospheric radiative environment, implemented at the Pic du Midi

Adrien Cheminet has defended his thesis on 10th October 2013.

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/DRPH/SDE/LMDN

Authors > CHEMINET Adrien

Publication Date > 10/10/2013

Summary

This PhD Thesis has been achieved thanks to the joint effort between two French organizations, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN/LMDN, Cadarache) and the French Aerospace Lab (ONERA/ DESP, Toulouse). The aim was to develop an operational neutron spectrometer extended to high energies in order to measure the dynamics of the spectral variations of the natural radiative environment at the summit of the Pic du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees. Thereby, the fluence responses of each detector were calculated thanks to Monte Carlo simulations. Afterwards, they were validated by means of experimental campaigns up to high energies (>20 MeV) nearby reference neutron fields. The systematic uncertainties were deduced after detailed studies of the mathematic reconstruction of the spectra (i.e. unfolding procedure). Then, the system was tested under rocks at the LSBB of Rustrel before being installed at respectively +500 m and +1000 m above sea level for the first environmental campaigns. Finally, the spectrometer has been operating for two years after its deployment at the summit of the Pic du Midi (+2885 m). The continuous data were analysed thanks to an innovative method. Some seasonal and spectral variations were observed. Some Forbush decreases were also recorded after strong solar flares. These data were further analysed thanks to Monte Carlo simulations. The data were made more attractive thanks to several practical applications with personal dosimetry or reliability of submicron electronics components.

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