Sep 12 – 17, 2021
University of Birmingham
Europe/London timezone

A programmable readout system for 3He/BF3 neutron detectors

Sep 15, 2021, 12:54 PM
Teaching and Learning Building (University of Birmingham)

Teaching and Learning Building

University of Birmingham

Edgbaston Campus University of Birmingham B15 2TT UK


Mr Yuri Venturini (CAEN SpA)


Neutron sources are currently becoming a standard to investigate the structures of various materials at mesoscopic scale using elastic scattering techniques, which are applied across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines such as physics, biology, materials science. Moreover, having the capability of detecting neutrons is a common request of Radioprotection and Security fields, especially in those applications where you need to locate a potentially hazardous neutron emitter, measure its energy and reconstruct its position.
Typical neutron physics experiments carried out at Neutron Spallation Sources and other laboratories (like ESS, SNS, CSNS, ISIS, ILL, …) make use of large arrays of 3He/BF3 position-sensitive tubes to detect neutrons. On the other hand, Nuclear Security main players need more compact systems with standalone electronics to bias and read out neutron detectors.
CAEN SpA has developed a 19” rack-mount solution for the readout of 3He/BF3 tubes, which can be tailored for both above mentioned scenario, including neutron physics experiments and environmental/security monitoring system. It is a scalable system allowing to put together few to hundreds neutron detectors. It can be composed starting from three basic building blocks: R803x High Voltage board, R1443 Charge Sensitive Preamplifier specifically designed for 3He/BF3 tubes and R5560 14-bit 125MS/s open FPGA Digitizer. Thanks to its firmware programmability, this readout system can perform specific filtering to achieve the best charge, timing and position measurements.
CAEN provides a DAQ software to remotely manage the system and acquire waveforms, energy, ToF spectra and perform position reconstruction. Moreover, the R5560 offers the possibility to use SCI-Compiler, a block-diagram-based software which allows to easily implement custom pulse processing algorithms in the board FPGA.

Nationality Italian
Institute CAEN SpA
Your name Yuri Venturini
Title Mr

Primary author

Mr Yuri Venturini (CAEN SpA)


Dr Massimo Venaruzzo (CAEN SpA) Mr Carlo Tintori (CAEN SpA) Dr Andrea Abba (Nuclear Instruments Srls)

Presentation materials