A PC-based data acquisition system for sub-atomic physics measurements
Modern particle physics measurements are heavily dependent upon automated data acquisition systems (DAQ) to collect and process experiment-generated information. One research group from the University of Saskatchewan utilizes a DAQ known as the Lucid data acquisition and analysis system. This thesis examines the project undertaken to upgrade the hardware and software components of Lucid. To establish the effectiveness of the system upgrades, several performance metrics were obtained including the system's dead time and input/output bandwidth.Hardware upgrades to Lucid consisted of replacing its aging digitization equipment with modern, faster-converting Versa-Module Eurobus (VME) technology and replacing the instrumentation processing platform with common, PC hardware. The new processor platform is coupled to the instrumentation modules via a fiber-optic bridging-device, the sis1100/3100 from Struck Innovative Systems.The software systems of Lucid were also modified to follow suit with the new hardware. Originally constructed to utilize a proprietary real-time operating system, the data acquisition application was ported to run under the freely available Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems (RTEMS). The device driver software provided with sis1100/3100 interface also had to be ported for use under the RTEMS-based system. Performance measurements of the upgraded DAQ indicate that the dead time has been reduced from being on the order of milliseconds to being on the order of several tens of microseconds. This increased capability means that Lucid's users may acquire significantly more data in a shorter period of time, thereby decreasing both the statistical uncertainties and data collection duration associated with a given experiment.
dead time, Data Acquisition System, DAQ, Real-time Operating System, RTEMS
Master of Science (M.Sc.)