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Sample-interpolation timing: an optimized technique for the digital measurement of time of flight for γ rays and neutrons at relatively low sampling rates.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2009
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Original languageEnglish


A unique, digital time pick-off method, known as sample-interpolation timing (SIT) is described. This method demonstrates the possibility of improved timing resolution for the digital measurement of time of flight compared with digital replica-analogue time pick-off methods for signals sampled at relatively low rates. Three analogue timing methods have been replicated in the digital domain (leading-edge, crossover and constant-fraction timing) for pulse data sampled at 8 GSa s−1. Events arising from the 7Li(p, n)7Be reaction have been detected with an EJ-301 organic liquid scintillator and recorded with a fast digital sampling oscilloscope. Sample-interpolation timing was developed solely for the digital domain and thus performs more efficiently on digital signals compared with analogue time pick-off methods replicated digitally, especially for fast signals that are sampled at rates that current affordable and portable devices can achieve. Sample interpolation can be applied to any analogue timing method replicated digitally and thus also has the potential to exploit the generic capabilities of analogue techniques with the benefits of operating in the digital domain. A threshold in sampling rate with respect to the signal pulse width is observed beyond which further improvements in timing resolution are not attained. This advance is relevant to many applications in which time-of-flight measurement is essential.