TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 62 (No. 2), pp. 179-186, 2010

A potential space- and power-effective muon sensor module for imaging a volcano

Hideaki Taira and Hiroyuki K. M. Tanaka

Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan

(Received November 30, 2008; Revised June 8, 2009; Accepted June 11, 2009; Online published February 22, 2010)

Abstract: The application of muon radiography will be greatly enhanced by the use of two muon sensor modules that save electric power consumption and are easily transportable. Muon sensor modules used for a volcano observation must have a low electric power consumption requirement and be both waterproof and portable. In this article, we discuss two candidate sensor modules: (1) a portable muon sensor module with wavelength-shifting (WLS) fibers and a multi-anode photomultiplier tube (MAPMT), and (2) a regular scintillator telescope with PMT complemented by a low-power Cockcroft-Walton circuit (CWPMT). A realistic telescope system consisting of a muon sensor module with MAPMT has been tested and found to consume 76 W, most of which (72 W) is used by the redundant electronic circuit required for pulse shaping; this could be modified to drastically improve the power consumption. In comparison, a muon telescope system with a CWPMT was found to consume 7.57 W. We also calculated the muon stopping length in SiO2 by means of a Monte-Carlo simulation. This calculation provided the average density structure along the muon path in rock, where the muon path length was shorter than 1.5 km, with an accuracy of about 5% during a 90-day measurement period by assuming a 1-m2 muon detector with an angular resolution of 25 mrad.
Key words: Cosmic-ray muon, radiography, volcano.

Corresponding author E-mail: h-taira@eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp

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