MCA

Welcome! The purpose of this website is to detail one of the projects for the Summer 2009 Olin-NASA partnership: a very low-cost multichannel analyzer. We are working on the project so please keep checking back for updates!

Our Statement of Work
Create a device that detects pulse times and heights of an input signal, and interfaces with a computer, which will record the pulse times and heights in a file. Display the pulse information as either a histogram of pulseheights or a flux vs. time monitor. Integrate the device into the UV flux meter system, along with the photodiode detector circuit.

The Current Plan of Attack
Our multichannel analyzer (MCA) will contain an analog peak and hold circuit along with a peak detector. The pulse information will be processed by a microcontroller. The microcontroller will store pulse heights as a histogram, which is periodically transferred via USB to a Mac for real-time visualization.

Specifications
-All components, including the power supply, can be purchased off-the-shelf for under $25
-Pulse heights can be accurately sampled for pulse widths ranging from 100 nanoseconds to 100 microseconds
-Number of pulses can accurately counted up to 100 kcps
-The MCA can handle voltages ranging from 0-10 V

Pulse Processing, PIC Histogramming, USB Data Transfer, Integration, Mac Interface