Avalanche propagation; gas gain; parallel grid avalanche counter.
Electric field distributions and their role in the formation of avalanche due to the passage of heavy ions in parallel grid avalanche type wire chamber detectors are evaluated using a Monte Carlo simulation. The relative merits and demerits of parallel and crossed wire grid configurations are studied. It is found that the crossed grid geometry has marginally higher gain at larger electric fields close to the avalanche region. The spatial uniformity of response in the two wire grid configurations is also compared.