Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 276, Issue 3, pp 657–662

A highly flexible, data intensive acquisition system for characterizing low-level decay events


DOI: 10.1007/s10967-008-0614-x

Cite this article as:
Band, A.H., Klouda, G.A. & Pheiffer, S.H. J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2008) 276: 657. doi:10.1007/s10967-008-0614-x


Since the early 1970’s, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has maintained a low-level decay, multi-channel counting facility for measuring environmental samples and for pulse distribution studies tied to the behavior of proportional and Geiger-Müller detectors. Pulses have been time stamped and sorted using a hard-wired digital logic interface to discriminate coincidence, anticoincidence, guard and test pulse events; to digitize the pulse-height and rise-time; to monitor specific characteristics of intra-channel and inter-channel events; and to measure microsecond timing between any two events. To enhance event characterization, a computer-based waveform analyzer was added in 1985 to digitize individual pulses. In 2002, a next-generation low-level counting (NG-LLC) system was developed using commercial off-the-shelf electronics. The objective of this paper is to describe the key components of the NG-LLC system. Many of the event parameters previously determined by inflexible digital logic are now calculated in software.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electron and Optical Physics DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  2. 2.Surface and Microanalysis Science DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  3. 3.Center for Neutron ResearchNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA