The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) is the latest generation of solar neutrino experiments designed to investigate the Solar Neutrino Problem (SNP). Through detection of all flavors of neutrinos, SNO will be capable of testing the neutrino oscillation hypothesis as a solution to the SNP. This unique capability stems from the flavor independent νx ( 2 H, n νx) 1 H reaction (νx = νe or ν µ or ντ). Observation of this Neutral Current (NC) reaction is through detection of the free neutron. One method of detection utilizes an array of 3 He-filled proportional counters, and is called the Neutral Current Detector array (NCD array). This thesis describes the preliminary testing and characterization of the individual counter components of the array during an underground storage period at the SNO site. These tests were performed to verify the operational characteristics of the counters, assess the long-term stability of the counters, and measure potential backgrounds to the NC measurement in SNO. In addition, a measure of the underground thermal neutron flux was made. The measurements to characterize the counters and assess the background contamination levels required the development of data acquisition electronics and analysis routines
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