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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PHYM024
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: SELLIN PJ Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Semester 1 & 2
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Coursework 100%
Part-time Students: Same as for full time students

Module Overview

This computational module will explore the various techniques used for the interfacing of equipment and signal processing in the context of radiation detection systems, and the use of Monte Carlo simulation techniques. The module will combine taught sessions and computational/laboratory work, and is taught in three parts:

Part 1 (Autumn Semester, 14 hours): LabView programming, covering an introduction to LabView, basic instrumentation control, and data analysis including GPIB, USB and serial protocols. Signal processing topics include Fourier Transforms, Windowing and Digital Filtering.

Part 2 (Semester 2, 4 hours): Monte Carlo simulation of radiation interactions in matter: an introduction to the use of FLUKA simulation software.

Part 3 (Semester, 2 20 hours): a laboratory-based group project to design and implement a digital radiation detection system, based on either a scintillator or semiconductor detector in conjunction with digital pulse processing.

Module Aims

The module will provide the student with an in-depth understanding of the use of the LabView software environment for instrumentation control, data analysis and pulse processing. Through a graded set of laboratory-based lectures and hands-on sessions, students will learn the theory and application of instrumentation control and data analysis, and apply these techniques to real applications using the LabView software. Students will also learn the basic use and implementation of the FLUKA Monte Carlo simulation software. The module culminates in a group-based design project where students develop a complete radiation detector instrumentation system of their choice.

Learning Outcomes
After completing this module, the student will have acquired the following:

Module Specific Skills:
• Understand the basis of instrumentation interfacing and control using the RS-232, USB and GPIB protocols
• Be able to design and write LabView programs for basic instrument control and signal processing tasks
• Critically understand and apply topics of elementary digital filtering and pulse processing algorithms
• Perform a Design Project in a group, and orally present this work

Discipline Specific Skills:
• Gain expertise in digital pulse processing and multi channel analysis, and understand the principles behind radiation instrumentation control and signal processing

Personal and Key Skills:
• Gain experience in group work through the design project
• Development of oral and communication skills in the presentation of project work
Module Content

This module is taught in three parts:



Part 1 (Semester 1, 14 hours – Dr Steve Clowes):


LabView programming:


§                Introduction to LabView and data-driven programming


§                Advanced LabView techniques


§                LabView DAQ signal acquisition and measurement


§                LabView instrumentation control using VISA


Instrumentation interfacing and control:


§                Introduction to instrumentation interfacing: serial and parallel interfaces, transfer rates and handshaking


§                RS-232 and USB serial interface standards


§                GPIB: hardware implantation and device command language


Signal processing:


§                Signal generation and wave function generators


§                Signal processing and filtering using Fourier Transforms: DFT and FFT


§                Data acquisition software development using LabView



Part 2 (Semester 2, 4 hours - Dr Silvia Pani):


FLUKA Monte Carlo programming:


            Introduction to Monte Carlo techniques in radiation physics


            Use of FLUKA to carry out a simple detector modelling problem



Part 3: (Semester 2, 25 hours - Prof Paul Sellin):


Design Project


Students will work together to design a radiation detection system using either a scintillation or semiconductor detector coupled to a digital pulse processing system.  Using the LabView programming environment, students will design and implement the various aspects of detector instrumentation and interfacing, and assess the performance of their instrument.



Methods of Teaching/Learning

The module is 100% coursework assessed, based on the following programming and written assessments:
1. 2 LabView programming exercises in the Semester 1 (20% per exercise)
2. FLUKA Monte Carlo programming exercise in the Semester 2 (20%)
3. Group Project Report (maximum 2000 words) describing the work carried out in the design project and the results obtained (30%)
4. Group Project Oral Presentation, summarising the work of the design project (10%)

The LabView and Monte Carlo assessments should be submitted electronically using ULearn.

Selected Texts/Journals

1. “Labview Signal Processing”, M.L. Chugani
2. “Labview programming, Data Acquisition and Analysis”, J.Y. Beyon
3. “Labview 7 Student Guide”, R.H. Bishop, Prentice Hall ISBN 0-13-188054-3

Last Updated

17th December 2010