IP Access Gateway Electronics

Period of Performance: 02/21/2017 - 11/20/2017

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Telluric Labs LLC
788 Shrewsbury Avenue Suite 2148
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Nuclear Physics (NP) Labs need orders of magnitude improvements in detector instrumentation electronics for significantly better energy, position and timing resolution, rate capability, stability, dynamic range, durability, background noise suppression, programmability and functionality. (Topics). All these are directly related and conditioned by an accurate measurement of time. Time is at the core of any data collection system. Currently, NP Labs use a separate synchronization network (SN) to distribute time directly to the frontend electronics, comprising trigger and/or clock. SN is expensive, vulnerable to a single point of failure, difficult to configure, and entirely proprietary and crafted for each location. We propose a new fundamentally different solution that provides tremendous flexibility and cost savings for instrumentation electronics, by providing accurate time, through the standard, asynchronous, commercial, Ethernet data network. It achieves and bypasses current SN functionality by: 1) a novel high stability clock source (OA) and a continuous fractional timestamping (CFTS) device located on the instrumentation electronics; and 2) General Timing Synchronization protocol, algorithms, and methodology that determines the instant relationship between the timing of each frontend electronics or data network switches and the lab’s reference time source. Continuous timestamping is an essential feature of the next generation of acquisition systems. Current TDC devices need an external signal to trigger the start of time window and also are limited by the span of the measurement time. On the other hand, the precision of traditional, continuous, clock counting timestamping is limited by the period of the sampling clock (quantization errors). Our CFTS combines the advantages and eliminates the shortcomings of both technologies through the use of a Tapped Ring Oscillator and a free running counter of its cycles. That reduces the quantization errors by at least one order of magnitude while preserving the continuous operation without the need of an external trigger. Local high stability oscillators are essential for systems synchronized over asynchronous networks and Internet. We will develop an oscillator array that eliminates the unpredictable jumps in frequency exhibited by quartz oscillators, which is the major accuracy limitation associated with OCXO devices. Our oscillator array will be detecting the smallest relative deviations of several quartz oscillators and numerically compensate for it. Oscillator array uses a fractional frequency meter for the finest granularity of the measurement. Our oscillator arrays aims precision close to low-end Rubidium oscillators. IPAG electronics integrating both timing devices addresses high performance data acquisition market. Integrated with General Timing Synchronization protocol it provides the best commercial solution solving FRIB and other particle labs need for data acquisition. Other markets comprise wide area data fusion applications, including arrays of antennas, radio telescopes, space exploration arrays, radar arrays, and geological studies.