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Multichannel system of data acquisition with digital processing of pulse for radionuclide detection


Ionizing radiation is applied in areas such as medicine, industry, nuclear safety and others. One of the major challenges of its application is the development of data acquisition (DAQ) systems to detect and process the radiation signal in order to measure it in terms of an appropriate quantity. Several research groups have been working in the development of multi-channel DAQ systems based on digital pulse processing (PDP) using programmable logic devices, such as FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), for technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET - "Positron Emission Tomography ") and particle physics and plasma experiments.In comparison with analog systems, PDP based DAQ systems provides higher reliability, wider dynamic range, reduced noise and superior or equivalent response time, combining low power consumption and high density components.The aim of this proposal is to design, build and validate a low cost multi-channel DAQ system based on real time PDP with performance optimized for radionuclides detection. Such system will be able to process 16 analog channels, simultaneously. Each analog signal will be conditioned by a preamplifier and an anti-aliasing filter before being converted into a digital signal by an analog-to-digital converter (ADC- "Analog to Digital Converter"). The digital pulses will be processed in a FPGA by algorithms that constitute great possibility of innovation in this phase 1. These algorithms will perform triggering, energy calculation and time stamping for each event to transfer the data periodically to a computer or a concentrator module to be stored and analyzed.The performance of the DAQ system prototype will be evaluated by a typical data acquisition using a calibrated radioactive source with a scintillation crystal coupled to a photodetector, in which time and energy resolutions are limited by the detector itself and not by the DAQ system. The data acquisition will be performed at the Applied Nuclear Physics Laboratory (LFNA) of the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN), in São Paulo. The results of the testing and evaluation of this prototype will determine the technical and scientific feasibility of the project, which will give path to the construction of a dedicated PET system for preclinical studies or breast cancer diagnosis with better performance and reduced cost, when compared to current PET systems. In addition, the DAQ system could also be purchased by companies that want to use it in their equipment for specific applications. In fact, its modularity and reconfigurability make it flexible and adaptable to various applications. (AU)

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