April 1994
Abstracts


World's Fastest Solid-State Digitizer

(pdf file, 1,100K)

Oscilloscopes have been used for decades to measure electrical events. However, they are complex, somewhat delicate, and expensive to manufacture. In response to our need for a large number of inexpensive recorders that could be used on the Nova laser, we developed a solid-state, single-shot transient digitizer using only low-cost, off-the-shelf components. Our digitizer is an important advance in digitizer technology for recording a single electrical event. It is eight times faster than other solid-state digitizers and lower in cost than comparable cathode-ray-tube-based digitizers now on the market. Other advantages include larger dynamic range, small size, and ease of manufacturing. The unique structure of the device provides a new way to harness the speed of diode samplers. High performance, low cost, and a wide range of potential applications make our instrument the new leader in high- speed transient digitizers.


The MACHO Camera System: Searching for Dark Matter

(pdf file, 1,000K)

In an attempt to determine the nature of the dark matter that makes up a substantial part of the Milky Way, Laboratory scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, developed the MACHO camera system. This camera system, which is mounted on the newly recommissioned reflecting telescope at Mount Stromlo, Australia, is the first to fully exploit the new generation of large-format, charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras. In its current application, the camera system gathers data on the stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud; during its first three months of operation, the system recorded more photometric measurements than were previously made in the history of astronomy. The instrument is a model for many future applications that require rapid image-taking and immediate processing of digital data.

April 1994 in PDF format (2,400K)


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