Athens Neutron Monitor Station

The Athens Neutron Monitor (3NM-64) was operated at the old Physics building of the Athens University in the central city of Athens at 40m altitude under the guidance of late Prof. A. Apostolakis from 1970 to 1977 (Geranios, Phd 1971; Moussas, Phd 1977; Mavromichalaki, Phd 1977).

After the ISSI workshop in 2000 we are glad to inform our colleagues that the updated Athens NM (Super 6NM-64) came back to the mighty family of the world wide Neutron Monitors with real time data from November 10, 2000.

This station is housed in a specially constructed room at the roof of the Physics building at the campus of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Athens Station is the unique in the Balkan area and the east part of the Mediterranean Sea. It was among the first stations (4th) in the worldwide Neutron Monitor Network provided real time data to the Internet.

The station is very useful for scientific as well as educational purposesstationoutside

The new modern Cosmic-Ray Station of the Athens University installed and developed with new instruments and electronics parts that made it possible to provide accurate data with resolution up to 1 sec. The whole project run under the efforts, guidance and responsibility of Assoc. Prof. Mavromichalaki and the Athens Cosmic Ray Group in co-operation with IZMIRAN group.

Under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Mavromichalaki three Phds (Tsagouri, PhD 2003; Gerontidou, PhD 2007; Plainaki, PhD 2007) have been awarded and two others are at the final stage of accomplishment (Souvatzoglou, Sarlanis).

Since 2003 a new data processing center (Athens Neutron Monitor Data Processing Center - ANMODAP) collecting data from 23 real time NM stations together with satellite data from ACE & GOES, is operated at the Athens NM station. By this Center a real time Alert system determining the onset of the GLEs is developed.

The system consists of six BF3 gas proportional counters with the enriched isotope B type BP28 Chalk. River Canada that has a neutron capture cross-section inversely proportional to the neutron intensity
10B + n ® 7Li + 4He++ + Q

By setting the pulse height threshold so that only 4He++ pulses are detected in the promotional counter, all electromagnetic components are not recorded due to their small ionization loss in the counter gas.

We are grateful to our collaborators Drs. A.Belov, V.Yanke and E. Eroshenko of the IZMIRAN Group (Russia) who kindly visited and helped us to update our station with real time data. Thanks are also due to Assoc. Prof G. Tombras of Physics Department for your assistance in the Data acquisition of the station.

Thanks are also due to Prof. L.I.Dorman from Emilio Segre Observatory (Israel) and Dr. M. Storini , Mr. Fabrizio Signoretti from Italian Cosmic Ray Group for their useful advises during their visits to our station.


Some of the scientific aims of Athens Neutron Monitor 

  • The energy spectrum of the cosmic-ray modulation effects (11-years and more long-term variations, 27-days, Forbush effects) where data from the sea level stations of high cutoff rigidity need to be used, can be determined. At present there is a deficit of such stations (only a few on mountains and one at the sea level - Beijing). Such stations are also necessary to obtain a rigidity spectrum of Cosmic-Ray anisotropy.
  • This station is very important for estimation the energy limit of particles in the great proton events. Frequently the upper energy of the particles accelerated at the Sun is ranged within 5-10 GeV, that is very close to the minimal energy of particles recorded in Athens. 
  • This station is suitable for the study of magnetospheric effects (November, 2003)
  • This station may be used to record and study the solar neutron enhancements.
  • May be used by other stations for data corrections (e.g. snow effects-ESO Israel).


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