XIA has a worldwide reputation for developing custom digital pulse processing solutions for demanding state-of-the-art applications and for special projects. Our work in support of the space program occasionally takes us out of this world too! Our team of highly skilled and experienced engineers are available for consultation regarding hardware and firmware adaptations and special developments. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Below are some categories of custom products developed at XIA:
The widespread use of x-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy outside the traditional laboratory setting has resulted in many custom hardware variants, with a trend towards reduced Size, Weight and Power (SWaP). XIA has responded with special board designs in applications ranging from down-hole well logging and handheld XRF tools to radioisotope identification instruments for Homeland Security. Hardware customization often incorporates control of external devices through digital I/O lines.
In addition to custom formats for pulse processor cards, XIA offers variants of the microDXP motherboard (the microCOMU) and other platforms to provide filtered power, easy access to I/O lines and interface to user-defined auxiliary functions such as DACs and sensors.
Custom Firmware Solutions
XIA’s pulse processor modules already provide a variety of functions beside the standard pulse height measurement, but inevitably there are some applications that require special functionality. XIA can often accommodate such applications by customizing the firmware. Examples include:
Dual time resolved energy spectra
Computed pulse heights and statistics can be binned into two separate MCA spectra for prompt and delayed neutron activation analysis, for example. Spectra and statistics can be stored for multiple time windows.
External trigger, counter, status
Based on one or more external logic input signals, the firmware can generate a trigger for data capture even when no local pulse is detected, or increment a counter or latch a status bit pattern to be included in the list mode data stream.
External control output
GPIO pins are available for the firmware control of external devices such as a DAC for HV setting, or for external sensors such as temperature monitors or a GPS module. GPIO pins can also be used for secondary data I/O
Pixie-16 trigger distribution over backplane
Complex trigger distributions from multiple detector groups can be accommodated by customized firmware control of the Pixie-16 backplane I/O connections.
Custom pulse processing
The on-board pulse processing itself can also be modified or enhanced with custom features; for example, to capture additional information online (avoiding readout of full waveforms) or pre-selecting events of interest (reducing overall output count).
User custom code
Several of XIA’s modules have options for user firmware to be added to XIA’s firmware, or to replace all of XIA’s processing firmware with the user’s custom firmware. (XIA provides a template for I/O, readout, etc.)
XIA has participated in many cutting-edge research projects with Government agencies, National Laboratories and University research labs, contributing to developments in areas as diverse as medical imaging, nuclear non-proliferation, carbon sequestration, and space exploration. Recently, we have been proud to collaborate with JPL-NASA on a number of projects including the PIXL instrument on the Mars 2020 Lander, Perseverance.
XIA has developed a number of accessory boards to facilitate special analog and digital I/O capability. More information is available here.