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High-rate dead-time corrections in a general purpose digital pulse processing system


Dead-time losses are well recognized and studied drawbacks in counting and spectroscopic systems. In this work the abilities on dead-time correction of a real-time digital pulse processing (DPP) system for high-rate high-resolution radiation measurements are presented. The DPP system, through a fast and slow analysis of the output waveform from radiation detectors, is able to perform multi-parameter analysis (arrival time, pulse width, pulse height, pulse shape, etc.) at high input counting rates (ICRs), allowing accurate counting loss corrections even for variable or transient radiations. The fast analysis is used to obtain both the ICR and energy spectra with high throughput, while the slow analysis is used to obtain high-resolution energy spectra. A complete characterization of the counting capabilities, through both theoretical and experimental approaches, was performed. The dead-time modeling, the throughput curves, the experimental time-interval distributions (TIDs) and the counting uncertainty of the recorded events of both the fast and the slow channels, measured with a planar CdTe (cadmium telluride) detector, will be presented. The throughput formula of a series of two types of dead-times is also derived. The results of dead-time corrections, performed through different methods, will be reported and discussed, pointing out the error on ICR estimation and the simplicity of the procedure. Accurate ICR estimations (nonlinearity < 0.5%) were performed by using the time widths and the TIDs (using 10-14;ns time bin width) of the detected pulses up to 2.2-14;Mcps. The digital system allows, after a simple parameter setting, different and sophisticated procedures for dead-time correction, traditionally implemented in complex/dedicated systems and time-consuming set-ups.