We describe our program to develop gas micro-well detectors (MWDs) as three-dimensional charged particle trackers for use in advanced gamma-ray telescope concepts. A micro-well detector consists of an array of individual micro-patterned gas proportional counters opposite a planar drift electrode. The well anodes and cathodes may be connected in X and Y strips, respectively, to provide two-dimensional imaging. When combined with transient digitizer electronics, which record the time signature of the charge collected in the wells of each strip, full three-dimensional reconstruction of charged-particle tracks in large gas volumes is possible. Such detectors hold great promise for advanced Compton telescope (ACT) and advanced pair telescope (APT) concepts due to the very precise measurement of charged particle momenta that is possible (Compton recoil electrons and electron-positron pairs, respectively). We present preliminary lab results, including detector fabrication, prototype electronics, and initial detector testing. We also discuss applications to the ACT and APT mission concepts, based on GEANT3 and GEANT4 simulations.


Space Science Center, Physics

Publication Date


Journal Title

SPIE Proceedings



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Document Type

Conference Proceeding


© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering.