A low energy gamma-ray telescope (0.2–3 MeV) has been studied in our laboratory. It is made up of an active honeycomb collimator of Nai(T1), with a geometrical angular aperture of 1.5°, and of a detector composed of 73 Nai(T1) sticks (0.5 cm diam.–5 cm length) incorporated in a plastic gabarit used in anticoincidence.
The directivity of the telescope is obtained at low energy by the collimator, and at higher energy by the directivity which exists in the gamma-ray interaction through the Compton and photoelectric effects. The electrons emitted in these interactions which are not contained in the sticks of Nai(T1) are detected by the plastic anticoincidence scintillator. Only laboratory tests are presented here, for the study of the galactic gamma-rays, however, the system must subsequently be protected by a 4 cm thick anticoincidence well. In fact the detector directivity enables a great increase in the signal to noise ratio to be expected without greatly increasing the thickness of the shielding.
According to the results obtained the estimation of the minimum exposure time for the ‘Crab Nebula’ would be about 2h30m to have a signal at 1 MeV with 2σ of confidence above the background.