ATCA data acquisition system for gamma-ray spectrometry

R.C. Pereira, J. Sousa, A.M. Fernandes, F. Patrício, B. Carvalho, A. Neto, C.A.F. Varandas, G. Gorini, M. Tardocchi, D. Gin, A. Shevelev

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The gamma-ray spectrometer JET EP2 (Joint European Torus enhancement project 2) project aims to perform high-resolution gamma spectroscopy at very high count rate (up to few MHz). Traditional analogue electronic has count rate and pulse processing limitations (long dead-time, pile-up challenge). Digital pulse processing (DPP) systems have been shown to have better performance than analogue ones for processing neutrons or/and gamma-ray signals. DPP can synthesize almost any pulse response shape without the signal degradation associated to complex analogue paths. High-speed transient recorders (TR) with auto-trigger functionality are used to digitize and store the detailed shape of pulses. The data acquisition (DAQ) system provides sophisticated analysis/data reduction based on real time algorithms, implemented in field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), for Pulse Height Analysis (PHA) while resolving pulse pile-up of digitized pulses. This paper describes a new DAQ system for real-time pulse analysis. The system is based on the Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture™ (ATCA™) and contains an ix86-based processor blade with up to 40 GFLOPS and a TR module interconnected through PCI Express (PCIe) links. TR module features: (i) 8 channels of 13 bit resolution with accuracy equal or higher than 11 bit to cope with the expected signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the input pulses; (ii) up to 500 MSamples/s sampling rate with the possibility to achieve 1 GSamples/s; and (iii) 2 or 4 GB of local memory. The core of the TR module is two FPGAs able to perform real-time processing algorithms such as PHA and pile-up resolution. This will allow data reduction by a factor of at least 6 and eventually spectra output in real-time. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341 - 345
Number of pages5
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Pereira, R. C., Sousa, J., Fernandes, A. M., Patrício, F., Carvalho, B., Neto, A., ... Shevelev, A. (2008). ATCA data acquisition system for gamma-ray spectrometry. Fusion Engineering and Design, 83(2-3), 341 - 345.