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The Application of Automatic Testing to Complex Nuclear Physics Experiments

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1 Author(s)
Kirsten, Frederick A. ; Lawrence Radiation Laboratory University of California Berkeley, California

The complexity of the data-acquisition systems required for advanced nuclear physics experiments is increasing. The difficulties involved both in setting up these systems and in detecting failures or drifts in the associated electronic equipment increase rapidly with the complexity of the system. To alleviate these difficulties, some automatic test routines for checking a complete data-acquisition system from phototube to scaler or analyzer have been developed. One technique involves the use of the nanosecond light pulsers described by Kerns. These are mounted so as to illuminate the scintillators. Relay matrices for routing the electrical triggers to the pulsers have been developed. The routing is programmed to sequentially activate various combinations of light pulsers, thereby simulating the nuclear events under investigation, as well as accidental events. Control systems are provided to perform the programming, with either automatic or manually controlled sequencing. Methods of checking or recording the results of the test routine are discussed. Two applications of this technique to actual experiments are described.

Published in:

Nuclear Science, IRE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 3 )