Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 33, Number 3, March 2006
|Page(s)||221 - 224|
|Section||Instrumentation and Metrology|
|Published online||22 February 2006|
A sound card based multi-channel frequency measurement system
Physics Department, Université de Fribourg, Chemin du
Musée 3, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
2 Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
Corresponding author: Paul.Knowles@unifr.ch
Revised: 24 October 2005
Accepted: 18 November 2005
Published online: 22 February 2006
For physical processes which express themselves as a frequency, for example magnetic field measurements using optically-pumped alkali-vapor magnetometers, the precise extraction of the frequency from the noisy signal is a classical problem. We describe herein a frequency measurement system based on an inexpensive commercially available computer sound card coupled with a software single-tone estimator which reaches Cramér–Rao limited performance, a feature which commercial frequency counters often lack. Characterization of the system and examples of its successful application to magnetometry are presented.
PACS: 06.30.Ft – Time and frequency / 07.05.Hd – Data acquisition: hardware and software / 07.55.Ge – Magnetometers for magnetic field measurements
© EDP Sciences, 2006
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