A unique technology developed and produced by Bubble Technology Industries (BTI) has been selected for induction into the prestigious US Space Technology Hall of Fame. BTI produces a small device for measuring neutron radiation, called the “bubble detector”. For over 30 years, the bubble detector has been used to protect people on Earth and astronauts in space from harmful effects of radiation and to support innovative research in medicine, physics, and space science.
This international honour for the bubble detector and its positive global impact comes after the technology has been deployed on over two dozen space missions through the Canadian Space Agency to assess radiation risks in space. Measurements on the International Space Station have been conducted by numerous astronauts, including Canadians Robert Thirsk, Chris Hadfield, and most recently David Saint-Jacques. In parallel, thousands of bubble detectors have been used on Earth to monitor radiation in hospitals, nuclear power plants, manufacturing facilities, and nuclear-powered submarines. Bubble detectors were also used to protect emergency responders after the nuclear accidents in 1986 at the Chernobyl site in Ukraine and in 2011 at the Fukushima site in Japan.
The bubble detector was invented in the early 1980s by Dr. Harry Ing, the founder and President of BTI. Dr. Ing noted, “It’s a real honour to be recognized for the impact we’ve had after so many years in this field. We are very fortunate to have such a bright and dedicated team to make this work possible”.
Dr. Martin Smith, the head of research at BTI, added, “We could not have sustained this long-running presence in space without the key support we’ve had from the Canadian Space Agency and other government partners. This is a team achievement in the truest sense”.
The company is currently pursuing new space projects to develop innovative technologies to search for water on the Moon and to protect astronauts from radiation during deep space missions.
The Space Technology Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, USA is operated by the Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization which encourages education and collaboration in space exploration. Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor said, “The advanced efforts put forth by this year’s inductees are outstanding examples of adapting space technology for the enhancement of our lives here on Earth. On behalf of the entire Space Foundation…we welcome the opportunity to herald life-changing work such as theirs and see it honored in the Space Technology Hall of Fame”.
Dr. Ing and Dr. Smith will attend the induction ceremony in April, which will be hosted by the Space Foundation and attended by international leaders from the space sector.
A link to the press release by the Space Foundation is available here.