First results from the LUCID-Timepix spacecraft
payload onboard the TechDemoSat-1 satellite in Low Earth Orbit
The Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector (LUCID) is a payload onboard the satellite TechDemoSat-1, used to study the radiation environment in Low Earth Orbit (635 km). LUCID operated from 2014 to 2017, collecting over 2.1 million frames of radiation data from its five Timepix detectors on board. LUCID is one of the first uses of the Timepix detector technology in open space, with the data providing useful insight into the performance of this technology in new environments. It provides high-sensitivity imaging measurements of the mixed radiation field, with a wide dynamic range in terms of spectral response, particle type and direction.
The data has been analysed using computing resources provided by GridPP, with a new machine learning algorithm that uses the Tensorflow framework. This algorithm provides a new approach to processing Medipix data, using a training set of human labelled tracks, providing greater particle classification accuracy than other algorithms. For managing the LUCID data, we have developed an online platform called Timepix Analysis Platform at School (TAPAS). This provides a swift and simple way for users to analyse data that they collect using Timepix detectors from both LUCID and other experiments. We also present some possible future uses of the LUCID data and Medipix detectors in space.
Furnell, W. et al., (2019). First results from the LUCID-Timepix spacecraft payload onboard the TechDemoSat-1 satellite in Low Earth Orbit, Advances in Space Research, 63(5), 1523-1540.