Evaluation of high performance data acquisition boards for simultaneous sampling of fast signals from PET detectors

Martin S. Judenhofer, Bernd J. Pichler, Simon R Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Detectors used for positron emission tomography (PET) provide fast, randomly distributed signals that need to be digitized for further processing. One possibility is to sample the signals at the peak initiated by a trigger from a constant fraction discriminator (CFD). For PET detectors, simultaneous acquisition of many channels is often important. To develop and evaluate novel PET detectors, a flexible, relatively low cost and high performance laboratory data acquisition (DAQ) system is therefore required. The use of dedicated DAQ systems, such as a multi-channel analysers (MCAs) or continuous sampling boards at high rates, is expensive. This work evaluates the suitability of well-priced peripheral component interconnect (PCI)-based 8-channel DAQ boards (PD2-MFS-8 2M/14 and PD2-MFS-8-500k/14, United Electronic Industries Inc., Canton, MA, USA) for signal acquisition from novel PET detectors. A software package was developed to access the board, measure basic board parameters, and to acquire, visualize, and analyse energy spectra and position profiles from block detectors. The performance tests showed that the boards input linearity is >99.2% and the standard deviation is <9 mV at 10 V for constant signals. Synchronous sampling of multiple channels and external synchronization of more boards are possible at rates up to 240 kHz per channel. Signals with rise times as fast as 130 ns (<2 V amplitude) can be acquired without slew rate effects. However, for signals with amplitudes of up to 5 V, a rise time slower than 250 ns is required. The measured energy resolution of a lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO)-photomultiplier tube (PMT) detector with a 22Na source was 14.9% (FWHM) at 511 keV and is slightly better than the result obtained with a high-end single channel MCA (8000A, Amptek, USA) using the same detector (16.8%). The crystals (1.2 × 1.2 × 12 mm3) within a 9 × 9 LSO block detector could be clearly separated in an acquired position profile. Thus, these boards are well suited for data acquisition with novel detectors developed for nuclear imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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