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Title: A MULTI-LAYER PHOSWICH RADIOXENON DETECTION SYSTEM, REPORTING PERIOD 11/01/06 - 01/31/07

Abstract

During the third quarter of our research we continued development of our two-channel digital pulse processor, and finalized/optimized our XEPHWICH design. We have completed a number of simulations (using MCNP) on potential design features of a two-channel phoswich detector, and have come to agreement on the most efficient design for the ARSA framework. This design will encompass two planar, triple-layer phoswich detectors positioned parallel to each other such that the gas-counting volume is a very thin disk. This approach creates a counting geometry that is very close to 4{pi}, while simplifying the manufacturing process. For the DPP2, a two-channel fast preamplifier is being designed. The preamplifier will have DC-offset and gain adjustments. As described in the proposal, valid signal pulses from two PMTs are identified and captured in the FPGA and then digitally processed in a dedicated Digital Signal Processor (DSP). The MicroBlaze processor from Xilinx is intended to be replaced with the DSP. The processor is a soft core, meaning that it is implemented using general logic primitives rather than a hard core such as DSP.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
898997
Report Number(s):
Y1Q3 Progress Report
TRN: US0702890
DOE Contract Number:
FC52-06NA27322
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; DESIGN; RADIATION DETECTORS; XENON ISOTOPES; RADIATION DETECTION; MANUFACTURING; PREAMPLIFIERS

Citation Formats

David M. Hamby, P.I. A MULTI-LAYER PHOSWICH RADIOXENON DETECTION SYSTEM, REPORTING PERIOD 11/01/06 - 01/31/07. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/898997.
David M. Hamby, P.I. A MULTI-LAYER PHOSWICH RADIOXENON DETECTION SYSTEM, REPORTING PERIOD 11/01/06 - 01/31/07. United States. doi:10.2172/898997.
David M. Hamby, P.I. Wed . "A MULTI-LAYER PHOSWICH RADIOXENON DETECTION SYSTEM, REPORTING PERIOD 11/01/06 - 01/31/07". United States. doi:10.2172/898997. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/898997.
@article{osti_898997,
title = {A MULTI-LAYER PHOSWICH RADIOXENON DETECTION SYSTEM, REPORTING PERIOD 11/01/06 - 01/31/07},
author = {David M. Hamby, P.I.},
abstractNote = {During the third quarter of our research we continued development of our two-channel digital pulse processor, and finalized/optimized our XEPHWICH design. We have completed a number of simulations (using MCNP) on potential design features of a two-channel phoswich detector, and have come to agreement on the most efficient design for the ARSA framework. This design will encompass two planar, triple-layer phoswich detectors positioned parallel to each other such that the gas-counting volume is a very thin disk. This approach creates a counting geometry that is very close to 4{pi}, while simplifying the manufacturing process. For the DPP2, a two-channel fast preamplifier is being designed. The preamplifier will have DC-offset and gain adjustments. As described in the proposal, valid signal pulses from two PMTs are identified and captured in the FPGA and then digitally processed in a dedicated Digital Signal Processor (DSP). The MicroBlaze processor from Xilinx is intended to be replaced with the DSP. The processor is a soft core, meaning that it is implemented using general logic primitives rather than a hard core such as DSP.},
doi = {10.2172/898997},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 31 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Wed Jan 31 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Description of activities conducted this report period: (1) Electronics Development--To improve the overall performance of the two-channel digital pulse processor (DPP2), the PCB has been redesigned and the new printed board is now under assembly. The system is enhanced with two new fast ADCs from Analog Devices (AD9230-250), each with a sampling rate of 250 MHz and a resolution of 12 bits. The data bus uses a high performance Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) standard. The offset and gain of each channel are separately controlled digitally by the GUI software. (2) GUI Software Development--A GUI is being developed using themore » Python programming language. All functions from the preceding MATLAB code have been re-implemented including basic waveform readout, pulse shape discrimination, and plotting of energy spectra. In addition, the GUI can be used to control sampling runs based on the number of pulses captured, either in real or live time. Calibration coefficients and pulse shape discrimination boundaries can be changed on the fly so that the detector may be characterized experimentally. Plots generated by the GUI can be exported as graphic data. At present, the software has only been tested using one channel, pending availability of the new DPP board (DPP2). However, the functions have been written to allow easy expansion to two channels. (3) Light Collection Modeling--The XEPHWICH design has been modeled to determine its light capture efficiency. Research in the 7th quarter includes additional simulations representing significant increase in data resolution, well over an order of magnitude greater than previous simulations. The final data set represents approximately 11 billion visible photons divided equally among 110 thousand data points. A laboratory experiment is being designed and executed to experimentally determine light capture efficiency as a function of position within the scintillators. (4) Radioxenon Fission Source--We have designed and constructed a fission chamber to be used for the collection of radioxenon gases following neutron bombardment of HEU in the Oregon State University TRIGA reactor. The aluminum housing and all vacuum fittings have been assembled, awaiting an HEU transfer from PNNL. Students have worked closely with PNNL and OSU Radiation Safety personnel to facilitate transfer of the HEU. The OSU TRIGA Reactor Operations Committee has approved the experiment. (5) Spectral (beta) Recognition--Spectral identification by a neural network developed in our laboratory was compared to that of solvers of a linear system of equations. Data indicate that our neural network is capable of identifying three beta emission sources ({sup 14}C, {sup 36}Cl, and {sup 99}Tc) simultaneously with reliability to within 3%.« less
  • During this quarter, the detector manufacturer (Saint-Gobain) delivered one side of the prototype two-channel phoswich detector (XEPHWICH). Once received, our Digital Pulse Processor (DPP1, 12-bit/100 MHz) was employed to capture and digitally process phoswich pulses from laboratory radioactive sources. Our previous pulse shape discrimination algorithm was modified by utilizing three trapezoidal digital filters. This algorithm provides a two-dimensional plot in which the pulse shapes of interest are classified and then can be well identified. The preliminary experimental results will be presented at the 2007 Informal Xenon Monitoring Workshop. The DPP2 (two-channel, 12-bit/ 250 MHz Digital Pulse Processor) is at themore » prototyping stage. The analog sections have been designed, prototyped and tested. A 6-layer Printed Circuit Board (PCB) was designed, ordered and delivered. The board components were ordered and are now being assembled and examined for proper functionality. In addition, the related FPGA hardware description code (using VHDL) is under development and simulation. Additionally, our researchers have been studying materials regarding wavelet transforms for incorporation into the project. Wavelet transform is an interesting tool for signal processing; one use for our purpose would be to de-noise the detector signal and to express the signal in a few coefficients for signal compression and increased speed. Light capture efficiency modeling and analysis was performed on the XEPHWICH design. Increased understanding of the modeling software was obtained by the discovery of a bug and successful workaround techniques with the DETECT2000 software. Further modeling and plot generation experience was had by the continued use of CERN's ROOT and GEANT4 software packages. Simulations have been performed to compare the output of points versus planes in light capture efficiency. An additional simulation was made with a runtime that was an order-of-magnitude greater than previous simulations, to confirm convergence of the solutions provided by our software methods. We have initiated our investigation into the radon signature expected in our XEPHWICH system. We intend to utilize this signature to confirm earth movement, in the event of an underground nuclear explosion, by continuously monitoring radon levels and noting increases in radon concentration in conjunction with increased levels of radioxenons. The research group is also designing and constructing a fission chamber to be used for the collection of radioxenon gases following neutron bombardment of HEU in the Oregon State University TRIGA reactor. To this point, we have completed milling the aluminum housing and have modeled fission product nuclide production associated with the fissioning of HEU. Additionally, the students have been busy compiling the appropriate information in preparation for irradiation approvals. Using beta spectra of three initial nuclides collected on the prototype phoswich detector, spectral identification by a preliminary neural network was compared to that of solvers of a linear system of equations. Pre-processing in areas such as smoothing and endpoint identification is also being investigated as a means of improving spectral identification.« less
  • Further work was performed in optical modeling of the modified (dual planar) XEPHWICH design. Modeling capabilities and understanding were expanded through the performance of three additional simulations. The efficiency of the entire optical modeling process was increased by developing custom software to interface with both the input and output of the simulation program. Work continues on the design and implementation of the analog portion of the read-out system. This component is being prototyped and is nearing completion. The PCB (printed circuit board) is in its design phase for the two-channel digital pulse processor, necessary for the dual planar XEPHWICH. Systemmore » components are being selected for the signal processor based on a balance of cost and our expectations of quality. Outside the scope of the grant, but entirely related, we continue to work on developing a source of fission-product xenon gases that will be produced in the OSU TRIGA reactor. The amount of HEU necessary to provide the needed activities of xenon fission products, as well as build-in times for each isotope of importance following irradiation, have been calculated. Irradiation times in the TRIGA have been determined. We've finalized our design of the xenon-fission-product collection chamber and initiated in-house fabrication. PNNL will be supplying the thin foils of enriched uranium necessary for xenon production.« less
  • Laboratory radioactive sources were used to characterize the phoswich detector. The CaF{sub 2} scintillator has a low light-yield and slow decay time, thus produces very small signals due to low-energy gamma rays or X-rays. Therefore, detection of 30 keV X-rays (from the xenon radioisotopes) using this layer and discriminating its very small signals from electronic noise was a challenging task. Several solutions were considered and experimentally evaluated. We found that the best solution would be extending the fast triangular filter from 10 taps to 30 taps. This will extend the peaking time of this filter from 25 nsec to 75more » nsec. The digital filter is implemented in FPGA on our DPP2.0 and is used to trigger the detection system. Functionality of the new filter in capturing and discriminating 30 keV X-rays was confirmed by using a {sup 133}Ba gamma-ray source. Development of the DPP GUI software has continued with the addition of two new panels to display histograms of beta/gamma and beta/x-ray coincidence events. This includes coincidence events from a single channel, as well as two-channel, coincidence event. A pileup rejection algorithm has been implemented in the FPGA code, and controls to adjust its sensitivity have been added to the GUI. Work has begun on a new prototype system to develop a USB host interface between the PC and the FPGA to end reliance on Opal Kelly prototyping boards; the hardware for this system has been completely assembled, and the PC-side software is currently in development.« less
  • The three year plan for this project is to develop novel theories and advanced simulation methods leading to a systematic understanding of turbulent mixing. A primary focus is the comparison of simulation models (both Direct Numerical Simulation and subgrid averaged models) to experiments. The comprehension and reduction of experimental and simulation data are central goals of this proposal. We will model 2D and 3D perturbations of planar interfaces. We will compare these tests with models derived from averaged equations (our own and those of others). As a second focus, we will develop physics based subgrid simulation models of diffusion acrossmore » an interface, with physical but no numerical mass diffusion. We will conduct analytic studies of mix, in support of these objectives. Advanced issues, including multiple layers and reshock, will be considered.« less