Title: An embedded read-out for GM counter

Authors: G. Prasanna; J. Jayapandian

Addresses: Materials Science Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam 603 102, Tamil Nadu, India ' Materials Science Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam 603 102, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract: Cost effective embedded design for Geiger Mueller counter biasing and read-out, using a programmable system-on-chip is described in this paper. Geiger Mueller counters (GM-counters) are simple radiation detectors widely used in the area of detection of nuclear occurrences, which require read-out electronics to perform the functions of pulse counting and measurement data display. In addition to this, GM-tubes require high voltage biasing circuitry for their operation. A GM-tube based radiation counter has design requirements such as ruggedness, low power consumption and immunity against interference. These requirements are complex to achieve with conventional hardware circuit design of the read-out systems. In this paper a novel embedded design based on the Cypress Semiconductor's single chip programmable-system-on-chip (PSoC), exploiting its mixed signal array of analogue and digital modules is described. Acquired data from GM counter has been communicated to a PC using UART protocol. Calibration procedures performed with the GM counter with the new read-out design is also discussed in this paper. The measurements from this design has been compared with those of existing commercial radiation measurement systems and found to be comparable with commercial off the shelf instruments. This reliable and accurate single-chip embedded design also has high-voltage biasing circuitry for the GM counter in addition to its read-out electronics.

Keywords: GM counter; Geiger Mueller counter; PSoC readout; high voltage regulation; pulse width modulator; PWM; gamma dosimetry; radiation detection; signal conditioning; single chip readout design; mixed signal array; nuclear occurrences; embedded readout; programmable SoC; system-on-chip; nuclear safety; nuclear energy; nuclear power.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIT.2014.065180

International Journal of Instrumentation Technology, 2014 Vol.1 No.3, pp.228 - 240

Available online: 15 Oct 2014 *

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