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Gated Integrator

Introduction

A gated integrator (also called a boxcar integrator or averager) integrates an analytical signal over a fixed time window. In pulsed experiments the integrator gate is synchronized with the analytical signal by a trigger. This method increases the signal-to-noise ratio by recording the voltage only when the signal is present and ignoring time periods when there is no signal and only noise. The following plot shows a time dependent signal. The shaded area covers 90% of the area under the curve. Integrating the signal only during this time period gets most of the signal and avoids noise at the beginning of the experiment and after the signal has decayed to zero. (Note that this simulation does not show the noise that would be typical of a real transient signal.)

Gated integration of a transient signal


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