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Lunar neutron simulation
Voss, John Mark
Haymes, Robert C.
Master of Science
Cosmic rays interacting with the surface nuclei of the moon produce neutrons, some of which emerge from the surface. This emergent albedo will depend strongly on the composition of the surface, especially concentrations of hydrogen. A measurement of the ratio of the slow to fast neutron counting rates will serve as an index of the hydrogen content in the lunar surface. A feasibility study is made on the effect on the slow and fast neutron counting rates due to increases in water content. A lunar neutron simulator, consisting of neutron detectors and a fast neutron source, measures the effect of water concentration using a basaltic material with a sane mixture used for comparison. Data obtained using a 0.3% water content in basalt indicate an increase of about 4% over the 0.2% water content level in the slow neutron counting rates. The fast counting rates were not measurably changed by this increase in water content. We conclude that the experiment as proposed is sufficiently sensitive to detect a variation in water concentration of 0.1% (by weight).