HECTOR is a NaI(Tl) detector developed at the Nuclear Science Laboratory (NSL) at the University of Notre Dame. It is an array of 16 crystals, each 4x8x8 inch in size. Each crystal is contained in aluminum housing and read by two photomultipliers. The crystals are arranged in a frame to form a cube 16x16x16 inch with a 60mm borehole in the center for beam pipe and target. The size of the detector ensures high detection efficiency even for high-energy gamma rays and allows for measurements of the cross section as low as 10 μb.
According to Anna Simon, University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor, the high efficiency of the detector makes it a great tool for measurement of proton and alpha capture reactions that occur in explosive stellar environments where heavy nuclei are produced.
Saint-Gobain Crystals engineering and assembly teams were faced with two major challenges: