National R&D Laboratory Application Case Study - Data Acquisition Particle Physics

National Research & Development Laboratory Applications

Nuclear Ion Testing

Customer Case

This customer is involved in nuclear ion testing. The pulse amplitudes of nuclear ions from a detector must be measured and sorted into a histogram, which will show the number of times a given amplitude was received.

The customer wants a "multi-channel analyzer" capable of analyzing 4,000 to 8,000 "channels." In the customer's terminology, "channels" are actually histogram bins.

The customer has pulses coming in at 20 - 30 ms minimum interval and needs to peak detect (calculate the maximum value of the pulse). Then, based on peak height, each is stored in a histogram bin (basically, add 1 to each bin if it lands there). Each pulse is 2 ms maximum width.

The customer also needs to measure Time of Flight. The theory behind Time of Flight is that protons of different masses take longer to come down the flight tube. If the time interval is measured, then the type of ion can be identified.

GaGe Case Solution

With an 8-bit CompuScope card, there will only be 256 possible amplitudes and 256 histogram "bins." With 12-bit resolution, there will be 4,096 possible amplitudes and 4,096 histogram bins. Therefore, this customer needs a 12-bit CompuScope card.

We must capture at, say, 10 ns width (100 MSPS) and transfer 200 points (the whole 2 ms pulse) across the PCI bus. This takes about 6 ms for the CompuScope 8012A/PCI.

With the CompuScope 8012A/PCI, then, the customer would have about 14 ms to do the peak detect routine and the histogram update. This should be long enough for those two operations as well as re-arming the card.

For measuring Time of Flight, GaGe's Trigger Marker Board can be used to measure the arrival time of successive triggers with 50 ns resolution. This means the time stamp will be accurate to 50 ns. For the customer's application, this accuracy is sufficient.

GaGe Case Recommended Products

  • CompuScope 8012A/PCI
  • Trigger Marker Board

Research & Development Application Request

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