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Alpha/Beta Probe

Spab 15 001

The SPAB-15 probe for measurement of surface contamination is designed to be used with any CSP™ survey meter.

Tag Features

  • Alpha/Beta surface contamination measurement
  • 15 cm2 silicon PIPS® detector
  • Very good alpha/beta discrimination
  • Lowest MDA available in handheld probe
  • Belongs to CSP™ family
  • Calibration via PC
  • Ergonomic counting mode selector on probe body


The SPAB-15 probe for measurement of surface contamination is designed to be used with any CSP survey meter. Its Silicon PIPS detector with 15 cm2 detection area makes it an ideal tool for direct measurement of alpha and beta emitters. PIPS technology brings numerous benefits never encountered before in handheld applications.

These are:

  • An improved MDA (much lower gamma background compared to other technologies).
  • A very good alpha/beta discrimination (never met before with other type of detector).
  • A durable entrance window (not sensitive to pressure, cleanable)

The SPAB-15 unit is part of the Canberra™ SMART Probe (CSP) family. It includes all key components of hardware circuitry (high voltage power supply, amplifier, discriminator, etc.). Also, the intelligence associated with controlling those components is located in the probe – including control and storage of key parameters, settings, calibrations, probe ID, alarm settings (10 values for each unit to display with default setting), etc. Thus the probe is a fully integrated subsystem taking and transmitting the measurement to the instrument, which is used for display.

With high voltage and digitization of the data occurring in the probe rather than the instrument, measurement quality is no longer dependent on external device quality (cable, host instrument). Moreover, a CSP probe uses a serial protocol to communicate with the host which can be an instrument or a PC.

Calibration and QA measurements can be performed directly with the probe, without even using any instrument, by connecting the probe to a computer with Canberra Smart Probe Software (CSPS™), allowing your instruments to remain deployed in the field.

Once calibrated, the SPAB-15 unit is ready to be used as a plug and play probe to start a QA measurement in CPM, DPM, DPM/100 cm2 or c/s, Bq, Bq/cm2. The SPAB-15 unit connects to the survey meter via a 1.5 meter or 20 meter CSP cable.

A push-button located on the probe housing helps selects the counting mode. When pressed, the probe switches to the next mode in a list of three and the LED is activated accordingly: alpha only – LED off, beta only – LED on and alpha+beta – LED blinking. It is a powerful feature for the user to avoid the need to look back on the instrument when changing the mode and can stay focused on the measurement.

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