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Instruments, Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Welcome to Instruments—A New Leading Journal for Advanced Research in Instrumentation
Instruments 2017, 1(1), 1; doi:10.3390/instruments1010001 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 August 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 27 August 2016
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Abstract
Instruments is a new MDPI peer-reviewed, open access journal focused on scientific instrumentation and on the related methods and theory.[...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle A Novel Cosmic Ray Tagger System for Liquid Argon TPC Neutrino Detectors
Instruments 2017, 1(1), 2; doi:10.3390/instruments1010002
Received: 12 December 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
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Abstract
The Fermilab Short Baseline Neutrino (SBN) program aims to observe and reconstruct thousands of neutrino-argon interactions with its three detectors (SBND, MicroBooNE, and ICARUS-T600), using their hundred-ton scale Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers to perform a rich physics analysis program, in particular focused
[...] Read more.
The Fermilab Short Baseline Neutrino (SBN) program aims to observe and reconstruct thousands of neutrino-argon interactions with its three detectors (SBND, MicroBooNE, and ICARUS-T600), using their hundred-ton scale Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers to perform a rich physics analysis program, in particular focused on the search for sterile neutrinos. Given the relatively shallow depth of the detectors, the continuous flux of cosmic ray particles crossing their volumes introduces a constant background which can be falsely identified as part of the event of interest. Here we present the Cosmic Ray Tagger (CRT) system, a novel technique to tag and identify these crossing particles using scintillation modules which measure their time and coordinates relative to the internal events to the neutrino detector, with the intent of mitigating their effect in the event tracking reconstruction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Misconceptions about Calorimetry
Instruments 2017, 1(1), 3; doi:10.3390/instruments1010003
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
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Abstract
In the past 50 years, calorimeters have become the most important detectors in many particle physics experiments, especially experiments in colliding-beam accelerators at the energy frontier. In this paper, we describe and discuss a number of common misconceptions about these detectors, as well
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In the past 50 years, calorimeters have become the most important detectors in many particle physics experiments, especially experiments in colliding-beam accelerators at the energy frontier. In this paper, we describe and discuss a number of common misconceptions about these detectors, as well as the consequences of these misconceptions. We hope that it may serve as a useful source of information for young colleagues who want to familiarize themselves with these tricky instruments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Simplified Three-Microphone Acoustic Test Method
Instruments 2017, 1(1), 4; doi:10.3390/instruments1010004
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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Abstract
Accepted acoustic testing standards are available; however, they require specialized hardware and software that are typically out of reach economically to the occasional practitioner. What is needed is a simple and inexpensive screening method that can provide a quick comparison for rapid identification
[...] Read more.
Accepted acoustic testing standards are available; however, they require specialized hardware and software that are typically out of reach economically to the occasional practitioner. What is needed is a simple and inexpensive screening method that can provide a quick comparison for rapid identification of the top candidates. This research reports on the development of an acoustical rapid-test method that achieves these objectives. The method is based upon a reformulation of the well-regarded three-microphone method. The new formulation reduces the number of required microphones to a single microphone and removes the need for simultaneous capture and extensive signal-processing analysis. The study compares the proposed simplified method to two standard methods and the three-microphone method. The results of the correlation analysis between the new method versus the original method produced a coefficient of determination of r2 = 0.994. A simulation study highlighted several unique accuracy advantages of this new proposed method in comparison to the existing standard methods. The proposed new method represents an easy-to-use technique that requires little in the way of equipment and can be set up with minimal training and expense. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Recovery Time of Silicon Photomultiplier with Epitaxial Quenching Resistors
Instruments 2017, 1(1), 5; doi:10.3390/instruments1010005
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
The silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) is a promising semiconductor device for low-level light detection. The recovery time, or the photon-counting rate of the SiPM is essential for high-flux photon detection in such applications as photon counting computer tomography (CT). A SiPM with epitaxial quenching
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The silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) is a promising semiconductor device for low-level light detection. The recovery time, or the photon-counting rate of the SiPM is essential for high-flux photon detection in such applications as photon counting computer tomography (CT). A SiPM with epitaxial quenching resistors (EQR SiPM) has advantages in fabricating small APD microcells connected in series with lower quenching resistors, therefore, APD cells with a low RC time constant and a short recovery time can be expected. In this report, the recovery time of EQR SiPM has been investigated using both the double light pulse method and the waveform analysis method. The results show that the recovery time of EQR SiPM is strongly dependent on the size of the active area and the number of fired pixels. For a 3 × 3 mm2 device, while total about 90,000 pixels were fired, the recovery time was 31.1 ± 1.8 ns; while fired pixels were controlled to about 2000, the recovery time decreased significantly to 6.5 ± 0.4 ns; and the recovery time of one fired pixel was 3.1 ± 0.2 ns. For 1.4 × 1.4 mm2 device, the recovery time was 15.2 ± 0.5 ns, while a total of about 20,000 pixels were fired. Effects that may affect the recovery time of the SiPM, including strength of the pulse light, signal transmission time delay, and the readout electronics are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Particle Detectors and Electronics for Fast Timing)
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Open AccessArticle LinoSPAD: A Compact Linear SPAD Camera System with 64 FPGA-Based TDC Modules for Versatile 50 ps Resolution Time-Resolved Imaging
Instruments 2017, 1(1), 6; doi:10.3390/instruments1010006
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
The LinoSPAD camera system is a modular, compact and versatile time-resolved camera system, combining a linear 256 high fill factor pixel CMOS SPAD (single-photon avalanche diode) sensor with an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) and USB 3.0 transceiver board. This modularization permits the separate
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The LinoSPAD camera system is a modular, compact and versatile time-resolved camera system, combining a linear 256 high fill factor pixel CMOS SPAD (single-photon avalanche diode) sensor with an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) and USB 3.0 transceiver board. This modularization permits the separate optimization or exchange of either the sensor front-end or the processing back-end, depending on the intended application, thus removing the traditional compromise between optimal SPAD technology on the one hand and time-stamping technology on the other hand. The FPGA firmware implements an array of 64 TDCs (time-to-digital converters) with histogram accumulators and a correction module to reduce non-linearities. Each TDC is capable of processing over 80 million photon detections per second and has an average timing resolution better than 50 ps. This article presents a complete and detailed characterization, covering all aspects of the system, from the SPAD array light sensitivity and noise to TDC linearity, from hardware/firmware/software co-design to signal processing, e.g., non-linearity correction, from power consumption to performance non-uniformity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Particle Detectors and Electronics for Fast Timing)
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Open AccessArticle Universal Signal Conditioning Technique for Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors in PLC and SCADA Applications
Instruments 2017, 1(1), 7; doi:10.3390/instruments1010007
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
Optical fibre sensors, such as Fibre Bragg Gratings (FBGs), are growing in their utilisation, although very niche in their applications. To enable a more diverse range of end users, expensive application-specific optical fibre interrogation hardware needs to be made compatible with and, ideally,
[...] Read more.
Optical fibre sensors, such as Fibre Bragg Gratings (FBGs), are growing in their utilisation, although very niche in their applications. To enable a more diverse range of end users, expensive application-specific optical fibre interrogation hardware needs to be made compatible with and, ideally, easily incorporated into existing instrumentation and measurement hardware. The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is an ideal example of hardware used for data acquisition in many industries. As such, a module that can be connected into an existing PLC slot to collect data from electrically-neutral, EMI-immune and versatile FBG sensors is of significant advantage to the growing optical fibre sensing market. In this work, we show that both digital and analogue signals can be collected from FBG sensors and integrated seamlessly into the PLC-based control system using a transmit-reflect detection system. This technique enables fibre optic sensors to be compatible with standard industrial automation controllers in a relatively low cost and plug and play manner. Full article
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