January 1, 2010.
In Accelerator Mass Spectrometry [AMS] signal and digital processing instrumentation capture measurements of the ratio of rare isotopes to stable isotopes, such as carbon 14 to carbon 13. The importance of accuracy, speed and maintainability in their data acquisition [DAQ] systems is paramount. The goal of this project was to build a test bed to prototype a new architecture for AMS DAQ. A 90’s vintage CAMAC Crate Controller [CCC] was replaced by an Ethernet based controller. This allows replacement of an obsolete unsupported computer and circuit cards with a general-purpose computer with Ethernet communications, i.e., a Mac Mini. A test bed with a NIM crate and a CAMAC crate were assembled. Relevant aspects of the older AMS system were replicated; a pulse generator simulated an ion detector and LabVue simulated the older MAC. Once this test bed was debugged a CAEN CCC replaced the older CCC. New CCC command sequences were debugged using a telnet interface to its ASCII TCP/IP socket port. Then a new program was written for the Mac Mini Studio basic program to send either single crate commands, scripts containing command sequences or LUA programs to the CCC and store the measurement results on the MAC. In this project, a prototype/test bed exploiting newer DAQ technologies was built as a basis for completing a robust DAQ tool and for developing and testing further enhancements.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)