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NE Colloquium: Mauricio Ayllon Unzueta

Title: "Nuclear technology for space exploration: surface composition measurements"

Nuclear technology has been instrumental for space applications since the beginning of the space age. It proved to be the ideal technology to explore regions of the solar system and beyond that present with harsh conditions and long-lasting self-sustained energy requirements. In this talk, we will present a survey of this wide range of applications and focus on active surface composition measurements involving gamma-ray/neutron spectrometers and pulsed neutron generators. In particular, we will present the science requirements and basic principles of operation in the context of NASA’s mission “Dragonfly” for the exploration of Titan - the largest moon of Saturn - as well as the instrument “BECA” for the exploration of Earth’s Moon.

Mauricio Ayllon Unzueta is a postdoctoral fellow for NASA's Solar System Exploration division. His main focus is implementation of active neutron/gamma spectrometers in space missions to Titan and Earth’s Moon. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where his research focused on designing and testing a novel Associated Particle Imaging (API) system for soil-carbon measurements with neutron generators and gamma ray spectrometers. He received his master's degree from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) in Switzerland, and his bachelor's degree in engineering physics and mathematics from Eastern Michigan University.

Dial-In Information

Attendees can attend in person or watch a live webcast.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Zeanah Engineering Complex, 123
863 Neyland Drive, Knoxville TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations




Current Students, Faculty & Staff, Alumni, Prospective Students


NE Colloquium, NE Fall 2021

Nuclear Engineering
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