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Proceedings Paper

Versatile all-digital time interval measuring system
Author(s): David Vyhlidal; Miroslav Cech
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a design and performance of a versatile all-digital time interval measuring system. The measurement method is based on an interpolation principle. In this principle the time interval is first roughly digitized by a coarse counter driven by a high stability reference clock and the fractions between the clock periods are measured by two Time-to-Digital Converter chips TDC-GPX manufactured by Acam messelectronic. Control circuits allow programmable customization of the system to satisfy many applications such as laser range finding, event counting, or time-of-flight measurements in various physics experiments. The system has two reference clocks inputs and two independent channels for measuring start and stop events. Only one 40 MHz reference is required for the measurement. The second reference can be, for example, 1 PPS (Pulse per Second) signal from a GPS (Global Positioning System) to time tag events. Time intervals are measured using the highest resolution mode of the TDC-GPX chips. The resolution of each chip is software programmable and is PLL (Phase Locked Loop) stabilized against temperature and voltage variations. The system can achieve a timing resolution better than 15 ps rms with up to 90 kHz repetition rate. The time interval measurement range is from 0 ps up to 1 second. The power consumption of the whole system is 18 W including an embedded computer board and an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen. The embedded computer controls the whole system, collects and evaluates measurement data and with the display provides a user interface. The system is implemented using commercially available components.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8072, Photon Counting Applications, Quantum Optics, and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing III, 80720J (6 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886922
Show Author Affiliations
David Vyhlidal, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Miroslav Cech, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8072:
Photon Counting Applications, Quantum Optics, and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing III
Jaromír Fiurásek; Ivan Prochazka, Editor(s)

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