Scope 2208A as counting module

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PhotonCoder
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Scope 2208A as counting module

Post by PhotonCoder »

Hi all,
I am currently working on an application using an avalanche photodiode as a photon counter, which generates pulses that I want to sample with a Picoscope 2208A and count them, getting a value of pulses/second.

The pulses have a width of 10 ns and can occur every 20 ns (~50 MHz) so according to the specs of 1GS/s sampling rate the device should be totally fine. In principle I also do not need the form of the pulse, just if it's there
Here's what I want to do: Along with the SDK and Labview implementation I want to use the Picoscope in triggered rapid block mode as to catch as many pulses as possible before memory overflows. However I am a bit unsure if this is actually a feasible way to do this as even with millisecond integration time it will be already 50k pulses and thus over twice the limit for the buffer memory (which is a bit less than 25k) and I think the streaming to the PC takes longer than one ms. What would generally be enough however is measuring as many pulses with as few samples as possible (as I am interested in only the count per second) and then extrapolating this, but then I would need very accurate information on the time segment (e.g. the scope measured for 100 µs, and with the trigger 50 waveforms were captured -> 500k waveforms/pulses per second).
Do you think this sort of application and coding it in this way is feasible or is there a smarter way of solving the problem? Help and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
PhotonCoder

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