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Instruments, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2019) – 18 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Six Concepts in Search of an Author
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030051 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 677
Abstract
This paper describes several seemingly interesting detector research projects that, after their initial development, seem not to have been pursued. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Selected Papers from Instruments’ Editorial Board Members)
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Open AccessReview
Laser Technology in Photonic Applications for Space
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030050 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
The registered history of laser technologies for space application starts with the first laser echoes reflected off the Moon in 1962. Since then, photonic technologies have become very prominent in most technical development. Their presence has also dramatically increased in space applications thanks [...] Read more.
The registered history of laser technologies for space application starts with the first laser echoes reflected off the Moon in 1962. Since then, photonic technologies have become very prominent in most technical development. Their presence has also dramatically increased in space applications thanks to the many advantages they present over traditional equivalent devices, such as the immunity against electromagnetic interference, as well as their efficiency and low power consumption. Lasers are one of the key components in most of those applications. In this review, we present an overview of the main technologies involving lasers that are currently deployed in space, before reviewing the requirements for lasers to be reliable in that environment before discussing the advantages and drawbacks of replacing standard technologies by newly developed photonic laser-based devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
BriXs Ultra High Flux Inverse Compton Source Based on Modified Push-Pull Energy Recovery Linacs
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030049 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
We present a conceptual design for a compact X-ray Source BriXS (Bright and compact X-ray Source). BriXS, the first stage of the Marix project, is an Inverse Compton Source (ICS) of X-ray based on superconducting cavities technology for the electron beam with energy [...] Read more.
We present a conceptual design for a compact X-ray Source BriXS (Bright and compact X-ray Source). BriXS, the first stage of the Marix project, is an Inverse Compton Source (ICS) of X-ray based on superconducting cavities technology for the electron beam with energy recirculation and on a laser system in Fabry-Pérot cavity at a repetition rate of 100 MHz, producing 20–180 keV monochromatic X-Rays devoted mainly to medical applications. An energy recovery scheme based on a modified folded push-pull CW-SC twin Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) ensemble allows us to sustain an MW-class beam power with almost one hundred kW active power dissipation/consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics and Applications of High Brightness Beams)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Externally Heated Hollow Cathode Arc Plasma Source for Experiments in Plasma Wakefield Acceleration
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030048 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 804
Abstract
An externally heated, hollow cathode arc source was recommissioned at UCLA for use in experiments to drive plasma wakefields with shaped beams at the Argonne Wakefield Accelerator. The hollow cathode arc source provides a robust plasma column with a density in the 10 [...] Read more.
An externally heated, hollow cathode arc source was recommissioned at UCLA for use in experiments to drive plasma wakefields with shaped beams at the Argonne Wakefield Accelerator. The hollow cathode arc source provides a robust plasma column with a density in the 10 13 10 14 cm 3 range while external heating of the cathode allows the plasma arc regime to be accessed with applied voltages down to 20 V. Overall source operating principals are described, along with time-resolved plasma current measurements and plasma density characterization with the use of a triple Langumir probe. The results show that relevant plasma densities that match facility beam parameters are readily achievable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics and Applications of High Brightness Beams)
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Open AccessArticle
High Repetition Rate and Coherent Free-Electron Laser in the X-Rays Range Tailored for Linear Spectroscopy
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030047 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 704
Abstract
Fine time-resolved analysis of matter—i.e., spectroscopy and photon scattering—in the linear response regime requires fs-scale pulsed, high repetition rate, fully coherent X-ray sources. A seeded Free Electron Laser (FEL) driven by a Linac based on Super Conducting cavities, generating 10810 [...] Read more.
Fine time-resolved analysis of matter—i.e., spectroscopy and photon scattering—in the linear response regime requires fs-scale pulsed, high repetition rate, fully coherent X-ray sources. A seeded Free Electron Laser (FEL) driven by a Linac based on Super Conducting cavities, generating 10 8 10 10 coherent photons at 2–5 keV with 0.2–1 MHz of repetition rate, can address this need. Three different seeding schemes, reaching the X-ray range, are described hereafter. The first two are multi-stage cascades upshifting the radiation frequency by a factor of 10–30 starting from a seed represented by a coherent flash of extreme ultraviolet light. This radiation can be provided either by the High Harmonic Generation of an optical laser or by an FEL Oscillator operating at 12–14 nm. The third scheme is a regenerative amplifier working with X-ray mirrors. The whole chain of the X-ray generation is here described by means of start-to-end simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics and Applications of High Brightness Beams)
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Open AccessArticle
A Low-Cost Phase-OTDR System for Structural Health Monitoring: Design and Instrumentation
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030046 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
The design, development, and testing of a low-cost phase optical time-domain reflectometry (Phase-OTDR) system, intended for use in structural health monitoring (SHM) applications, are presented. Phase-OTDR is a technology that is growing and evolving at an impressive rate. Systems based on this principle [...] Read more.
The design, development, and testing of a low-cost phase optical time-domain reflectometry (Phase-OTDR) system, intended for use in structural health monitoring (SHM) applications, are presented. Phase-OTDR is a technology that is growing and evolving at an impressive rate. Systems based on this principle are becoming very sensitive and elaborate and can perform very accurate condition monitoring, but at the same time, they are critically alignment-dependent and prohibitively costly to be considered as viable options in real field applications. Certain Phase-OTDR systems have been applied in real field studies, but these examples are mostly a proof-of-concept. The system presented here is the result of a compromise between performance and cost, using commercial components, specifically combined and tuned for SHM applications. The design and implementation of all the electronic and optoelectronic steps are presented, and the operation of the system is demonstrated, achieving a spatial resolution of ~6 m over 5 km. This work provides useful engineering guidelines for the low-cost implementation of Phase-OTDR systems. It is anticipated that the affordable development of such interrogation systems will promote their use in a wide range of SHM applications with moderate monitoring requirements and will assist the penetration of Phase-OTDR technology in the industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
From SPARC_LAB to [email protected]_LAB
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030045 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
Following the promising results obtained at the SPARC_LAB test-facility in Frascati (Italy), we have recently submitted a proposal to develop a new facility driven by a plasma accelerator module for extended and user-oriented applications. The new multi-disciplinary user-facility will be equipped with a [...] Read more.
Following the promising results obtained at the SPARC_LAB test-facility in Frascati (Italy), we have recently submitted a proposal to develop a new facility driven by a plasma accelerator module for extended and user-oriented applications. The new multi-disciplinary user-facility will be equipped with a soft X-ray Free Electron Laser (FEL) operating with energies larger than 1 GeV. This design study is performed to be fully compatible with the EuPRAXIA design study. Here, the latest layout and beam parameters are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics and Applications of High Brightness Beams)
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Open AccessArticle
Wavelength Scaling of Laser Wakefield Acceleration for the EuPRAXIA Design Point
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030044 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
Scaling the particle beam luminosity from laser wakefield accelerators to meet the needs of the physics community requires a significant, thousand-fold increase in the average power of the driving lasers. Multipulse extraction is a promising technique capable of scaling high peak power lasers [...] Read more.
Scaling the particle beam luminosity from laser wakefield accelerators to meet the needs of the physics community requires a significant, thousand-fold increase in the average power of the driving lasers. Multipulse extraction is a promising technique capable of scaling high peak power lasers by that thousand-fold increase in average power. However, several of the best candidate materials for use in multipulse extraction amplifiers lase at wavelengths far from the 0.8–1.0 μm region which currently dominates laser wakefield research. In particular, we have identified Tm:YLF, which lases near 1.9 µm, as the most promising candidate for high average power multipulse extraction amplifiers. Current schemes to scale the laser, plasma, and electron beam parameters to alternative wavelengths are unnecessarily restrictive in that they stress laser performance gains to keep plasma conditions constant. In this paper, we present a new and more general scheme for wavelength scaling a laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) design point that provides greater flexibility in trading laser, plasma, and electron beam parameters within a particular design point. Finally, a multipulse extraction 1.9 µm Tm:YLF laser design meeting the EuPRAXIA project’s laser goals is discussed. Full article
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Open AccessProject Report
Light Sources in Europe—Case Study: The COMPACTLIGHT Collaboration
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030043 - 18 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 715
Abstract
The light sources currently existing or under development in Europe address needs in the Central and Northwestern regions, whereas in the Southeastern European region there is no facility of this kind. The CompactLight collaboration, an H2020 funded project, is going to deliver a [...] Read more.
The light sources currently existing or under development in Europe address needs in the Central and Northwestern regions, whereas in the Southeastern European region there is no facility of this kind. The CompactLight collaboration, an H2020 funded project, is going to deliver a Conceptual Design Report (CDR) of a novel generation X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) facility which is compact, innovative, relatively cheap and to be implemented for industrial and medical applications. The CDR will facilitate technological updates of the many European region institutions and enable them to construct a novel light source. Cost and risk analysis, as well as technology transfer and market survey of the project results are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics and Applications of High Brightness Beams)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Scale Adjustment in Color Change Evaluation
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030042 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 763
Abstract
The aim of this research work was to assess the influence of different scale adjustment conditions on both color measurement and color difference quantification and, in particular, to determine the best procedure to follow for a high-reliability protocol. This issue is very important [...] Read more.
The aim of this research work was to assess the influence of different scale adjustment conditions on both color measurement and color difference quantification and, in particular, to determine the best procedure to follow for a high-reliability protocol. This issue is very important in the Cultural Heritage field and, above all, in color measurement, which is carried out at different times during conservation and restoration campaigns or during archaeological excavations. Color change evaluation, performed by way of spectrophotometric measurements under different scale adjustment procedures on selected samples represented by colored reflectance standards and colored paintings, aimed to obtain results not only on ideal samples (certified standards) but also on real case studies (paintings). The study was conducted by focusing on the coordinates of the CIELAB color space and, in particular, on the calculation of the ΔE*ab quantity. The results show the introduction of nonsystematic variation with different scale adjustment procedures independent of materials and hue. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Validation of A Modular Instrument to Measure Torque and Energy Consumption in Industrial Operations
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030041 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 944
Abstract
A modular torque measuring instrument capable of performing tapping torque tests (TTT) according to the ASTM D-5619 standard was designed, developed, and validated. With this new instrument, the performance of different lubricants can be evaluated in terms of frictional torque and energy consumption [...] Read more.
A modular torque measuring instrument capable of performing tapping torque tests (TTT) according to the ASTM D-5619 standard was designed, developed, and validated. With this new instrument, the performance of different lubricants can be evaluated in terms of frictional torque and energy consumption during tapping processes. This instrument can adapt onto any conventional milling machine or CNC machine and operate under various machining operations such as tapping, drilling, and other processes. To validate the design and performance of this new device, three commercially available lubricants were evaluated. From the three tested conditions, the results showed good repeatability, with consistent results throughout the different tests for each lubricant. The impact of such a proposed instrument ranges from academic use to industrial business use. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Conceptual Design of a Laser Driver for a Plasma Accelerator User Facility
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030040 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
The purpose of the European project EuPRAXIA is to realize a novel plasma accelerator user facility. The laser driven approach sets requirements for a very high performance level for the laser system: pulse peak power in the petawatt range, pulse repetition rate of [...] Read more.
The purpose of the European project EuPRAXIA is to realize a novel plasma accelerator user facility. The laser driven approach sets requirements for a very high performance level for the laser system: pulse peak power in the petawatt range, pulse repetition rate of several tens of Hz, very high beam quality and overall stability of the system parameters, along with 24/7 operation availability for experiments. Only a few years ago these performances were considered unrealistic, but recent advances in laser technologies, in particular in the chirped pulse amplification (CPA) of ultrashort pulses and in high energy, high repetition rate pump lasers have changed this scenario. This paper discusses the conceptual design and the overall architecture of a laser system operating as the driver of a plasma acceleration facility for different applications. The laser consists of a multi-stage amplification chain based CPA Ti:Sapphire, using frequency doubled, diode laser pumped Nd or Yb solid state lasers as pump sources. Specific aspects related to the cooling strategy of the main amplifiers, the operation of pulse compressors at high average power, and the beam pointing diagnostics are addressed in detail. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Absorbed Dose Evaluation in Radioiodine Therapy with Different Approaches
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030039 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 755
Abstract
The main approach to differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) therapy is still empiric, consisting of the administration of fixed activities. Repeated treatments, however, may have a stunning effect. An individualized dosimetric study may represent an important tool to determine the best activity to prescribe, [...] Read more.
The main approach to differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) therapy is still empiric, consisting of the administration of fixed activities. Repeated treatments, however, may have a stunning effect. An individualized dosimetric study may represent an important tool to determine the best activity to prescribe, in particular for patients with distant metastases or when therapy with recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) stimulation is deemed necessary. This study provides a practical operational example for carrying out a dosimetric study, according to the European Directive EURATOM/59/13. Starting from the case of a patient who underwent rhTSH stimulation before radioiodine ablation, we illustrate the necessity of measuring both red marrow (RM) and blood (BL) absorbed dose during the treatment in order to not exceed the dose limit of 2 Gy to the RM, so as to avoid repeating radioiodine treatment several times. Dosimetry to the RM and BL was performed during the treatments, after administration of therapeutic activity without modifying the fixed activity schema, using different approaches. The results suggest the possibility of restricting the number of treatments, reducing thus the risk of stunning effect and, where possible, eliminating an additional source of stress and dejection for patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Dynamic Range Imaging with TDC-Based CMOS SPAD Arrays
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030038 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1270
Abstract
This paper investigates the use of image sensors based on complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) in high dynamic range (HDR) imaging by combining photon counts and timestamps. The proposed method is validated experimentally with an SPAD detector based on a per-pixel [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the use of image sensors based on complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) in high dynamic range (HDR) imaging by combining photon counts and timestamps. The proposed method is validated experimentally with an SPAD detector based on a per-pixel time-to-digital converter (TDC) architecture. The detector, featuring 32 × 32 pixels with 44.64-µm pitch, 19.48% fill factor, and time-resolving capability of ~295-ps, was fabricated in a 150-nm CMOS standard technology. At high photon flux densities, the pixel output is saturated when operating in photon-counting mode, thus limiting the DR of this imager. This limitation can be overcome by exploiting the distribution of photon arrival times in each pixel, which shows an exponential behavior with a decay rate dependent on the photon flux level. By fitting the histogram curve with the exponential decay function, the extracted time constant is used to estimate the photon count. This approach achieves 138.7-dB dynamic range within 30-ms of integration time, and can be further extended by using a timestamping mechanism with a higher resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Single-Photon Detection Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
An Adaptable Device for Scalable Electrospinning of Low- and High-Viscosity Solutions
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030037 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 965
Abstract
This paper summarizes the design and construction of an adaptable electrospinner capable of spinning fluids over a large range of viscosities. The design accommodates needless electrospinning technologies and enables researchers to explore a large range of testing parameters. Modular parts can be exchanged [...] Read more.
This paper summarizes the design and construction of an adaptable electrospinner capable of spinning fluids over a large range of viscosities. The design accommodates needless electrospinning technologies and enables researchers to explore a large range of testing parameters. Modular parts can be exchanged for alternative versions that adapt to the research question at hand. A rotating drum electrode immersed halfway into a solution bath provides the liquid film surface from which electrospinning occurs. We tested and assessed several electrode designs and their electrospinning performance at higher (<500 poise) viscosities. Relative humidity was found to affect the onset of electrospinning of highly viscous solutions. We demonstrate robust device performance at applied voltage up to 90 kV between the electrospinning electrode and the collector. Design and fabrication aspects are discussed in practical terms, with the intent of making this device reproducible in an academic student machine shop. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Critical-Angle Differential Refractometry of Lossy Media: A Theoretical Study and Practical Design Issues
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030036 - 31 Jul 2019
Viewed by 868
Abstract
At a critical angle of incidence, Fresnel reflectance at an interface between a front transparent and a rear lossy medium exhibits sensitive dependencies on the complex refractive index of the latter. This effect facilitates the design of optical sensors exploiting single (or multiple) [...] Read more.
At a critical angle of incidence, Fresnel reflectance at an interface between a front transparent and a rear lossy medium exhibits sensitive dependencies on the complex refractive index of the latter. This effect facilitates the design of optical sensors exploiting single (or multiple) reflections inside a prism (or a parallel plate). We determine an empirical framework that captures performance specifications of this sensing scheme, including sensitivity, detection limit, range of linearity and—what we define here as—angular acceptance bandwidth. Subsequently, we develop an optimization protocol that accounts for all relevant optical or geometrical variables and that can be utilized in any application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Multidirectional Pin-on-Disk Testing Device to Evaluate the Cross-shear Effect on the Wear of Biocompatible Materials
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030035 - 22 Jul 2019
Viewed by 929
Abstract
One of the main causes of hip prostheses failure is the premature wear of their components. Multi-directional motion or “cross-shear” motion has been identified as one of the most significant factors affecting the wear rate of UHMWPE in total hip joint replacement prostheses. [...] Read more.
One of the main causes of hip prostheses failure is the premature wear of their components. Multi-directional motion or “cross-shear” motion has been identified as one of the most significant factors affecting the wear rate of UHMWPE in total hip joint replacement prostheses. To better evaluate the effect of this cross-shear motion on the tribological behavior of different biomaterials, a new wear testing device has been designed and developed. This new instrument is capable to reproduce the “cross-shear” effect with bidirectional motion on bearing materials and to determine coefficient of friction (COF) between surfaces during testing. To validate the functionality of this new testing platform, alumina balls were articulated against Ti-6Al-4V ELI alloy disks in Ringer’s solution. Four different articulation patterns, all with identical path lengths per cycle, were tested. Gravimetric weight loss was converted to volumetric wear data in order to determine the effects of motion patterns on the wear. Worn surfaces were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. This scientific approach to quantifying the tribological effects of cross-shear provides fundamental data that are crucial in evaluating potential biomaterials for use in knee and hip joint replacements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel High-Power, High Repetition Rate Laser Diode Pump Modules Suitable for High-Energy Class Laser Facilities
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030034 - 04 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
The latest generation of high-energy-class pulsed laser facilities, under construction or planned, such as EuPRAXIA, require reliable pump sources with high power (many kW), brightness (>1 MW/cm2/sr) and electro-optical conversion efficiency (>50%). These new facilities will be operated at high repetition [...] Read more.
The latest generation of high-energy-class pulsed laser facilities, under construction or planned, such as EuPRAXIA, require reliable pump sources with high power (many kW), brightness (>1 MW/cm2/sr) and electro-optical conversion efficiency (>50%). These new facilities will be operated at high repetition rates (around 100 Hz) and only diode lasers are capable of delivering the necessary performance. Commercial (quasi-continuous wave, QCW) diode laser pulse-pump sources are, however, constructed as low-cost passively cooled stacked arrays that are limited either in brightness, efficiency or repetition rate. Commercial continuous wave diode laser pumps constructed using microchannel coolers (as used in high-value industrial machine tools) can fulfil all requirements, but are typically not preferred, due to their cost and complexity and the challenges of preventing cooler degradation. A custom solution is shown here to fill this gap, using advanced diode lasers in a novel passive side-cooling geometry to realize 100 … 200 Hz pump modules (10%–20% duty cycle) that emit peak power of 6 kW at wavelength = 940 nm. The latest performance of these modules is summarized and compared to literature. We show that a brightness >1 MW/cm2/sr can be efficiently delivered across a wide range of laser pulse conditions with 10% duty cycle (pulse width: 100 µs … 100 ms … cw, repetition rate up to 1 kHz). Furthermore, we describe how these pumps have been used to construct and reliably operate (>109 pulses without degradation) in high-energy-class regenerative and ring amplifiers at the Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (MBI). We also show first results on 100 Hz pumping of cryogenically cooled solid-state Yb:YAG slab amplifiers, as anticipated for use in the EuPRAXIA laser, and note that peak temperature is disproportionately increased, indicating that improved cooling and more detailed studies are needed. Full article
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