Physics Questions People Ask Fermilab
Software Programming in Particle Detectors
Is it possible to use software programing in particle detectors to develop a program that can interpert data of passive radar?
Thanks for sending your question. The answer greatly depends on the type of data the radar is creating and the signal you are looking for. The particle physics software is used to identify tracks of particles, that is, the imaginary lines that particles leave behind inside a set of detectors. Similar to bullets flying through a set of cardboard boxes, the particles emerging from a collision leave electronic signals in the various detectors that correspond to the bullet holes in the cardboard. Taking into account the location of the "holes" and the timing of the signals (time it takes for a particle to travel a certain distance), the software is used to connect the right set of "holes" to identify the path that each particle took. (And there can be hundreds of particles escaping a single collision.)
Since radar is used to map 3-D objects rather than one-dimensional lines, the software needs might be quite different and it would be too much trouble trying to adapt the particle physics software and algorithms. If you provide more information on your software needs and the analysis goals, I can get you in touch with one of our computing experts.
Kurt Riesselmann, Fermilab
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