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A novel method for determining pulse counting circuitry dead time using the Nuclear Weapons Inspection System

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10 Author(s)
Paulus, M.J. ; Instrum. & Controls Div., Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., TN, USA ; Mihalczo, J.T. ; Valentine, T.E. ; Mullens, J.A.
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A novel method for measuring dead time in nuclear pulse processing circuitry has been developed using the autocorrelation measurement capability of the Nuclear Weapons Inspection System (NWIS). Initially developed for active neutron interrogation of nuclear weapons and other fissile assemblies, NWIS employs a custom gallium arsenide application specific integrated circuit and a new signature analysis software package to simultaneously acquire and display the autocorrelation and cross-correlation spectra of up to five detector/electronics systems. The system operates at clock frequencies up to 1 GHz, permitting the collection of timing pulses in bins as narrow as 1 ns. In normal operation NWIS uses well characterized detectors and constant fraction discriminators, but it may also be configured to accept pulses from any circuit and to use the autocorrelation spectrum to accurately determine dead-time. Unlike traditional dead-time assessment techniques that typically require multiple sources and an assumed dead-time model, NWIS provides single measurement assessment of circuit dead time and does not require an assumed dead-time model or a calibrated high count-rate source

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 3 )