Of paramount importance in a well-diagnosed basic physics experiment is a state of the art data acquisition system. The LAPD laboratory has assembled hardware and software which enables the real-time analysis of experimental data and the storage and manipulation of very large data sets.
The system is flexible enough to perform real-time manipulations of incoming data, and provide rapid turnaround for data reduction and display. The front end of the system consists of a PC-based Labview data acquisition system with interfaces to VXI, GPIB, and ethernet-based systems which control analog to digital converters, programmable amplifiers, stepping motor controllers, arbitrary waveform generators, and so on. This system is, in turn, networked to a small cluster of Linux servers for storage and number crunching, and several Mac computers for additional analysis (with IDL) and 3D data visualization (using Maya). The ability to easily visualize volumes of data is indispensable for understanding the complex data sets which are generated from experiments conducted in the LAPD. Software analysis and visualization is supplemented with a number of programs written in house. Information from time-varying, volumetric dataset can then be rendered in a 3D stereoscopic movie form which can be viewed on our 3D HDTV using LCD shutter glasses.
View our image gallery for images created by scientific visualization hardware and software.