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Fast Digital Detector Emulator

  • Pulser/Emulator/Function Generator operating modes
  • Energy spectrum emulation
  • Time distribution emulation
  • Custom signal shape emulation
  • Pile-up emulation
  • Noise and periodic interference emulation
  • Baseline drift
  • 1 ns/step programmable delay generator
  • Correlated signals generation on the two output channels
  • Two shape on the same channel for testing the pulse shape discrimination
  • Continuous and pulsed reset pre-amplifier emulation
The DT5810 is the model of the Detector Emulator family with the fastest signal output. Thanks to an updated and faster DAC it is now possible to emulate the behavior of the fast detectors on the market with 1 ns rise time. The Digital Detector Emulator is the only synthesizer of random pulses that is also an emulator of radiation detector signals with the possibility to configure energy and time distribution.

The stream of emulated signals becomes a statistical sequence of pulses, reflecting the programmed input features. When the emulation process is reset, the kernels of generators can be either re-initialized with new random data making the sequence always different, or they can be stored to reproduce the same sequence many times. The Digital Detector Emulator is able to emulate two different radiation sources at a time on the two output channels and to provide them either with fully independent parameters (energy spectra, signal shapes, temporal distributions of the events, noise characteristics, etc.) or with some of them correlated. For example the events can be time-correlated (steps of 1 ns), or a subset of events can share the same energy spectrum. It is also possible to set the channels in a master/slave configuration, where the first channel works as a trigger for the second one.

The output amplitude is selectable at ±2 V with 50 Ohm or ±10 V at high impedance. The unit can operate in the same three modes as the 5800 Family (Pulser Mode, Emulation Mode and Waveform Generator Mode). The Waveform Generator supports not only standard waveforms: e.g. sinusoidal, squared, ramp shape, etc. but also arbitrary waveforms customized by the user.

The DT5810 is equipped with an analog channel input through which it is possible to add to a signal coming from a real measurement setup the signal generated by the emulator: in this way it is possible to emulate a source not actually present or hardly available. Moreover, the analog input allows to characterize a detector, acquiring shape and spectrum of its output signal.
Desktop Package
Desktop Package
Desktop module housed in alloy box

170 W x 58 H x 227 L mm³ (without connectors)
170 W x 58 H x 247 L mm³ (including connectors)
1100 g
Detector Emulator Control Software
DT5810 is managed by a completely redesigned software interface that allows to manage the communication and to set the parameters for the signal generation for each channel.

Note: From left to right: Screenshot of the pulses and spectra emulation in the graphical user interface; Screenshot of the MCA configuration, signal inspector and histogram monitor sections in the graphical user interface.
Hardware Architecture
The core of the system is a FPGA device Kintex 7 KC-160T which contains all the logic resources necessary for the emulation.
The instrument does not have a hardware user GUI interface and requires a permanent connection via USB to the host PC, whose complex software allows to program all the operating settings of the instrument.
The FPGA is interconnected through two LVDS bus to a couple of 16-bit DACs, which generate the analog signals. Specific output stages convert the differential current signal from the DACs into single-ended voltage signals that are made available for the user. The FPGA is connected to two memories of 128 Mbyte for the storage of sequence. The power supply is a crucial point in the system. In fact, the digital circuits require high currents that are supplied by switching power architectures. The analog section of the system requires pure power supplies with ripple below 5 mV. Moreover, the system is powered by a single +12 V source while the analog section needs both positive and negative voltage levels.
Firmware Architecture
  • Programmable memory based shape emulation
  • Digital RC for infinite pile-up
  • Trnasistor reset detector emulator
  • Multiple shape on the same channel
Timebase emulation
  • Costant rate
  • Poisson distribution
  • List of events time of arrival
DPP Firmware
  • Calculate spectrum with integrated PHA (pulse height analysis) with Programmable trapezoidal filter
  • Automatic characterization of an unknown system to initialize the emulation process
Correlated channels
  • Channel 2 follows the channel 1 signal, with a programmable delay
  • Channel 2 follows its own statistics except for the time base
  • Channel 1 and 2 are independent. A third virtual channel is used to inject correlated events in the two output channels
Advanced features
  • Noise emulation: white, gaussian, random walk, 1/f shot
  • 1/f noise emulation with selectable corner frequency
  • Interference (periodic or with a random time base) emulation
  • Baseline drift emulation