Student project: Programming data acquisition


3. October 2022

Programming of a data acquisition card for laser interferometric readout of a pendulum

Who: Bachelor or master students

What: Data acquisition in Python, LabView, Matlab

Where: UHH (DESY) / HSU / online

Contact: Prof’in Katharina-Sophie Isleif, isleifk(at)

Within this bachelor or master thesis you will deal with the programming (in C or Python) of a data card to read out a mechanical pendulum motion with a laser interferometer. This interferometer technique requires 3 photodiodes to measure different output powers of the interferometer. The photodiodes convert the optical power into a photocurrent, which in turn is transformed into a voltage. You will digitize this with the data card and combine the different photodiode signals a certain way. The pendulum will be excited with a frequency sweep at the end. Frequency sweep and signals from the laser interferometer will be measured simultaneously by the data card. The goal is to determine the transfer function (transfer function) of the pendulum.

Background: This is a project with colleagues from UHH at the Institute for Laser Physics. The pendulum is set up in a vacuum chamber. The pendulum suspensions are cooled from one side and heated from the other side, so that a temperature gradient is created. Depending on this gradient, the oscillation modes of the pendulum are to be investigated, for which the above-mentioned laser interferometer is set up. The bachelor or master thesis will deal with the digitalization and processing of the measurement data.

Image Credit: National Instruments: