An embedded time interval data acquisition system (DAS) is developed for zero power reactor (ZPR) noise experiments. The system is capable of measuring the correlation or probability distribution of a random process. The design is totally implemented on a single Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The architecture is tested on different FPGA platforms with different speed grades and hardware resources. Generic experimental values for time resolution and inter-event dead time of the system are 2.22 ns and 6.67 ns respectively. The DAS can record around 48-bit x 790 kS/s utilizing its built-in fast memory. The system can measure very long time intervals due to its 48-bit timing structure design. As the architecture can work on a typical FPGA, this is a low cost experimental tool and needs little time to be established. In addition, revisions are easily possible through its reprogramming capability. The performance of the system is checked and verified experimentally.
A correlation measuring tool for an endogenous pulsed neutron source experiment is developed in this work. Paroxysmal pulses generated by a bursts of neutron chains are detected by a 10-kbit embedded shift register with a time resolution of 100 ns. The system is implemented on a single reprogrammable device making it a compact, cost-effective instrument, easily adaptable for any case study. The system was verified experimentally in the Esfahan heavy-water zero power reactor (EHWZPR). The results obtained by the measuring tool are validated by the Feynman-α experiment, and a good agreement is seen within the boundaries of statistical uncertainties. The theory of the methods is briefly initiated in the text. Also, the system structure is described, the experimental results and their uncertainties are discussed, and neutron statistics in EHWZPR is examined experimentally.