Funding of the GAMKA consortium
Following an intensive and rigorous review process involving international experts, the National Research Foundation has awarded R35 million to the GAMKA consortium led by the University of the Western Cape and with iThemba LABS, and the Universities Stellenbosch, Witwatersrand and Zululand as consortium members, to fund gamma ray detectors that will be placed at iThemba LABS. This is the first time that a single award of this size was made and is the culmination of a process that was initiated by our users back in 2010.
With this award we will finally be able to complete the AFRODITE array to the original goal of 16 of Germanium gamma detectors and be able to complete an array called ALBA (African Lanthanum Bromide Array), a new initiative consisting of 23 large LaBr3 detectors. These detectors can also be arranged into an array that will simultaneously provide unprecedented energy resolution and efficiency (LaBr) for the measurement of gamma rays. Used with the high resolution k600 spectrometer for charged particles, we will have a unique and very competitive experimental facility that will enable cutting edge research and will ensure that post-graduate students from all the user communities are trained on world-class equipment.