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Review Of Scientific Instruments


Multiplexingelectronics have been constructed to reduce the cost of high-speed data acquisition at the Swarthmore SpheromakExperiment (SSX) and Redmond Plasma Physics Laboratory. An application of the system is described for a three-dimensional magnetic probe array designed to resolve magnetohydrodynamic time scale and ion inertial spatial scale structure of magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma at SSX. Multiplexing at 10 MHz compresses 600 pick-up coil signals in the magnetic probe array into 75 digitizer channels. An external master timing system maintains synchronization of the multiplexers and digitizers. The complete system, calibrated and tested with Helmholtz, line current, and magnetofluid fields, reads out the entire 5×5×8 probe array every 800 ns with an absolute accuracy of approximately 20 G, limited mainly by bit error.


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Institute of Physics.

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