Data Acquisition in the Detection of Dark Matter

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Dark Matter constitutes up to 90% of the mass in the Universe. A promising candidate for Dark Matter is the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). We are building a Multi Wire Proportional Chamber to detect WIMPs. The voltages on several wires of the chamber need to be simultaneously observed. Using the C programming language and National Instruments' NIDAQ function library, I wrote data acquisition software for two 6110E Multiple Input Output boards to record the voltages on eight input channels. Key features of the program include storing multiple complete waveforms to disk for later analysis, plotting of individual waveforms as the user requests, and adjusting the number of pre-triggers for the triggered waveforms (voltage inputs). A new, larger MWPC is being built. In preparation for this, I reassembled and overhauled a previous student's work on the wire winding machine (WWM). A crucial feature of the automated WWM its ability to place wires to within 20 microns of the desired position. Planes of these precisely placed wires will be used as the anode and cathode planes used in the MWPC.


D. P. Snowden-Ifft



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