The service is mainly carried, out at the headquarters of Arcetri in Florence. In addition, from the late ’90s it is active also in Naples, where the first detached section was opened. Since 2010, coinciding with the birth of the section of Pisa, the Institute has added an additional electronics laboratory with an experience of thirty years.
Logistics and instruments
The electronic staff has its own equipped room that is used both as an office and as a laboratory. Rooms have been recently restructured (2005) in order to have an efficient PC-desk positioning (for circuit and prototype design), to host personnel (to discuss problems related to electronic instruments to be used for the research activity) and to assemble and test prototypes and/or electronic instruments (by making use of an electronic test bench).
Instrumentation present in each room can be divided into three following classes:
- hardware: each person of the electronic staff has at least two PCs;
- software: OrCAD design suites Tool for electronics, Xilinx to program Eprom chips and to design digital electronic circuits, LabView to drive, to test and to design instrument and detector prototypes, AutoCAD to draw mechanical components necessary for the realization of the electronic instruments;
- hardware: besides basic instrumentation (welders, multimeters, generators, power supplies, oscilloscopes) spectrum-analyzers, emulators for micro-controllers and instruments for a detailed analysis of complex electronic circuits are also available.
The machines for the production of electronic circuits such as Double Sided UV Exposure Unit, PCB Drill, CNC Machine for isolation Routing, Hole metallization System, Shears PCB, etc… are placed in a room that is equipped with a modern and efficient system of aspiration of fumes, steam and dusts. The access is allowed only to the specialized personnel assigned to the electronic service.
There is also a place which is used as storage for both bulky material (instrument packing boxes, sections section bars, …) and stock material (dismissed materials, conduction rods, and any material to be used for welding and for electronic manufacturing).
The electronics service at the section of Pisa is placed in a large laboratory with all the facilities for mounting electronic circuit boards and electronic instruments.
The lab has two work stations equipped with personal computer and a numerically controlled milling machine for the production of printed circuit boards and machining of flat surfaces and panels.
The basic instrumentation consists of power supplies, oscilloscopes, frequency counters, multimeters and signal generators, but the needs of recent years have led to mainly upgrade the digital instrumentation with the acquisition of in-circuit emulators for Zilog and Atmel microcontrollers and a development system for programmable logics and DSP. Computer software in use consists of electronics simulation software, electronics CAD software and CAD software for mechanical design, while for test and monitor of new equipments, LabVIEW is the usual tool.
Competences, past and future activities
The staff is highly qualified thanks to more than 20 years of experience and collaboration in the research activity of the institute. The participation to the research activity mainly consists in the design and realization of electronic circuits, such as:
- realization of printed circuits on Photo-Resist Coated Boards single end double sided;
- driving software for a 2-axes CNC Machine for printed circuits;
- design of electronic digital boards, carried out by means of software such as OrCad;
- to program Eprom chips and other integrated chips by means of software such as Xilinx.
Besides that, the technicians of the electronic service has profitably supported the following activities:
- photometry ed Lighting Engineering laboratory;
- measurement campaigns for the diagnostics of artworks;
- realization of instruments for environmental and aerospace applications.