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The data acquisition and control system for the electron linear accelerator ALID-7 of 5.5 MeV and 0.7 kW, built in Romania, used on pilot-scale radiation processing, is discussed. The system provides: personnel and sensitive device protection against dangerous events; programmed interlocking and warning signals during accelerator operation; single electron pulses or electron pulse trains with small variations in pulse dose; control of electron pulse length and repetition rate, electron beam intensity, magnetron frequency, high voltage level on magnetron and electron-gun modulators, sweeping amplitude and frequency, conveyor velocity, irradiation time, and electron pulses number; simultaneous electron beam and microwave treatment. An important feature of the installation is an original control technique for obtaining programmed beam single shots and pulse trains with programmed pulse number, pulse repetition frequency, and pulse duration, from a diode gun linear accelerator, by discrete pulse temporal position modulation of the gun electron pulses and the magnetron microwave pulses. It is particularly useful for automatic control of absorbed dose rate level, irradiation process control as well as in pulse radiolysis studies, single pulse dose measurement or for research experiments where pulse-to-pulse reproducibility is required. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.