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A simple microcontroller based digital lock-in amplifier for the detection of low level optical signals

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2 Author(s)
Dorrington, A.A. ; Dept. of Phys. & Electron. Eng., Waikato Univ., Hamilton, New Zealand ; Kunnemeyer, R.

Traditionally digital lock-in amplifiers sample the input signal at a rate much higher than the lock-in reference frequency and perform the lock-in algorithm with high-speed processors. We present a small and simple digital lock-in amplifier that uses a 20 bit current integrating analogue-to-digital converter interfaced to a microcontroller. The sample rate is set to twice the reference frequency placing the sampled lock-in signal at the Nyquist frequency allowing the lock-in procedure to be performed with one simple algorithm. This algorithm consists of a spectral inversion technique integrated into a highly optimised low-pass filter. We demonstrate a system with a dynamic range of 103 dB recovering signals up to 85 dB below the interference

Published in:

Electronic Design, Test and Applications, 2002. Proceedings. The First IEEE International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

2002