AbstractsComputer Science

Synthesis and evaluation of a monitoring and control system for a neutron monitor / Renier Fuchs

by Renier Fuchs

Institution: North-West University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Neutron monitor; Design science research; Calibration monitor; Neutronmonitor; Ontwerpsnavorsing; Kalibrasiemonitor
Record ID: 1413028
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10394/13076


Neutron monitors detect secondary particles produced by the collision of cosmic rays and atmospheric nuclei. The need exists for a mini-neutron monitor data acquisition system (MNM-DAS) to replace the existing recording system of the calibration neutron monitor developed in 2003 at the North-West University Centre for Space Research. The MNM-DAS must also replace the recording system of a standard NM64 neutron monitor. This research thus includes the development of the MNM-DAS using Design Science Research (DSR) in conjunction with Systems Engineering (SE) to streamline the design phase and maximize research output. A literature study is conducted, where an overview of the calibration monitor system is provided, together with the objectives for the development of the MNM system. An abstract system architecture was drawn up in the conceptual design phase of the project to provide a coherent description of all system functions. The system architecture was derived for the existing system, including additional functions of the required system, by performing a functional analysis. The architecture describes the function and fit of each functional unit and all interfaces that form an integrated system. From the conceptual design and system architecture, a preliminary synthesis was done. Following the preliminary synthesis, electronic circuitry was developed to capture the arrival time of pulses from the proportional neutron monitor counter tubes along with environmental variables, such as temperature, pressure, and location, which all influence the count rate. The MNM-DAS was successfully designed and developed by following this Systems-Engineering approach embedded into a Design Science Research framework. The MNM-DAS was constructed and tested, and is currently being used to provide neutron count data in real-world applications internationally. MIng (Computer and Electronic Engineering), North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, 2014