A new ultra low-level HPGe activity counting setup in the Felsenkeller shallow-underground laboratory

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



A new ultra low-level counting setup has been installed in the shallow-underground laboratory Felsenkeller in Dresden, Germany. It includes a high-purity germanium detector (HPGe) of 163% relative efficiency within passive and active shields. The passive shield consists of 45 m rock overburden (140 meters water equivalent), 40 cm of low-activity concrete, and a lead and copper castle enclosed by an anti-radon box. The passive shielding alone is found to reduce the background rate to rates comparable to other shallow-underground laboratories. An additional active veto is given by five large plastic scintillation panels surrounding the setup. It further reduces the background rate by more than one order of magnitude down to 116(1) kg-1d-1 in an energy interval of [40 keV;2700 keV]. This low background rate is unprecedented for shallow-underground laboratories and close to deep underground laboratories.


Original languageEnglish
Article number102816
Number of pages11
JournalAstroparticle physics
Early online dateFeb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85147548821
ORCID /0000-0002-0509-8743/work/141544937



  • Active shielding, HPGe detector, Low-background physics, Muon veto, Nuclear astrophysics, Underground laboratory