Pixie-Net News

"Screenshots taken from a version you do not own"

The Pixie-Net is a multi-channel radiation detector readout electronics module. Designed for high-precision coincidence gamma-ray spectroscopy using HPGe detectors, scintillators, or silicon detectors, the Pixie-Net offers not only detector signal digitization and waveform capture but also pulse height measurements, on-board energy histograms, time stamping and constant fraction timing, pileup inspection, external gating and online pulse shape analysis. Besides nuclear spectroscopy, the Pixie-Net can be used for neutron/gamma discrimination, time-of-flight measurements, and coincidence/anti-coincidence measurements.

The Pixie-Net is based on the Avnet MicroZed SOM, using a Xilinx Zynq as the key processor, and running a variant of Ubuntu Linux. Those are fairly popular devices and software, and there are lots of blogs and forums providing ideas, tricks, and tools for improvement. While the Pixie-Net comes with a working set of software for data acquisition, we continue to explore improvements. Some of them are listed below.

Disclaimer: As the subtitle of this blog is already a quote [1], so also the ideas below are largely based on what other people wrote and did before. Credit is given as far as possible, but no guarantee is given that the code modifications work reliably. These new functions are not (all/yet) part of the Pixie-Net firmware/software, but can be added in future versions and/or implemented by interested users. 

[1] T. Pratchett, "Only you can save mankind"; disclaimer on a fictitious video game