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First Observations of Cosmic Ray Neutrons by a Mini Neutron Monitor at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: In April 2017, a mini neutron monitor (NM) was installed at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) central Saudi Arabia (Riyadh; cut-off rigidity, Rc = 14.4 Gv) for continuous observation of the cosmic ray (CR) neutrons. The detector was built as a major aspect of the international scientific joint effort between the Centre of Space Research (North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa) and KACST. The recorded data correspond to low energy neutrons that primarily have energies lower than 20 GeV. In this paper, a brief description about the mini NM detector will be given. The influence of atmospheric pressure on the recorded CR neutrons was studied and the barometric coefficient was calculated and used to eliminate the pressure effects from the measured data. The obtained coefficient was consistent with those previously obtained by several investigators. The daily variation of the CR neutron was studied and characterized. Short-term CR periodicities, such as the 27-day period, and its two harmonics, were identified. The obtained periodicities are in agreement with those reported by different researchers. The obtained results from this detector have been compared to the existing 1 m2 scintillator detector showing comparable results. Long-term data from this detector will be of incredible significance to the research community to investigate several types of CR variations resulting from solar activity at such high cut off rigidity site.

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