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Title: Microwave Readout Techniques for Very Large Arrays of Nuclear Sensors

Abstract

During this project, we transformed the use of microwave readout techniques for nuclear sensors from a speculative idea to reality. The core of the project consisted of the development of a set of microwave electronics able to generate and process large numbers of microwave tones. The tones can be used to probe a circuit containing a series of electrical resonances whose frequency locations and widths depend on the state of a network of sensors, with one sensor per resonance. The amplitude and phase of the tones emerging from the circuit are processed by the same electronics and are reduced to the sensor signals after two demodulation steps. This approach allows a large number of sensors to be interrogated using a single pair of coaxial cables. We successfully developed hardware, firmware, and software to complete a scalable implementation of these microwave control electronics and demonstrated their use in two areas. First, we showed that the electronics can be used at room temperature to read out a network of diverse sensor types relevant to safeguards or process monitoring. Second, we showed that the electronics can be used to measure large numbers of ultrasensitive cryogenic sensors such as gamma-ray microcalorimeters. In particular, wemore » demonstrated the undegraded readout of up to 128 channels and established a path to even higher multiplexing factors. These results have transformed the prospects for gamma-ray spectrometers based on cryogenic microcalorimeter arrays by enabling spectrometers whose collecting areas and count rates can be competitive with high purity germanium but with 10x better spectral resolution.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1358188
Report Number(s):
13-4835
13-4835
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0000716
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Ullom, Joel. Microwave Readout Techniques for Very Large Arrays of Nuclear Sensors. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1358188.
Ullom, Joel. Microwave Readout Techniques for Very Large Arrays of Nuclear Sensors. United States. doi:10.2172/1358188.
Ullom, Joel. Wed . "Microwave Readout Techniques for Very Large Arrays of Nuclear Sensors". United States. doi:10.2172/1358188. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1358188.
@article{osti_1358188,
title = {Microwave Readout Techniques for Very Large Arrays of Nuclear Sensors},
author = {Ullom, Joel},
abstractNote = {During this project, we transformed the use of microwave readout techniques for nuclear sensors from a speculative idea to reality. The core of the project consisted of the development of a set of microwave electronics able to generate and process large numbers of microwave tones. The tones can be used to probe a circuit containing a series of electrical resonances whose frequency locations and widths depend on the state of a network of sensors, with one sensor per resonance. The amplitude and phase of the tones emerging from the circuit are processed by the same electronics and are reduced to the sensor signals after two demodulation steps. This approach allows a large number of sensors to be interrogated using a single pair of coaxial cables. We successfully developed hardware, firmware, and software to complete a scalable implementation of these microwave control electronics and demonstrated their use in two areas. First, we showed that the electronics can be used at room temperature to read out a network of diverse sensor types relevant to safeguards or process monitoring. Second, we showed that the electronics can be used to measure large numbers of ultrasensitive cryogenic sensors such as gamma-ray microcalorimeters. In particular, we demonstrated the undegraded readout of up to 128 channels and established a path to even higher multiplexing factors. These results have transformed the prospects for gamma-ray spectrometers based on cryogenic microcalorimeter arrays by enabling spectrometers whose collecting areas and count rates can be competitive with high purity germanium but with 10x better spectral resolution.},
doi = {10.2172/1358188},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed May 17 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed May 17 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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