HDRScope—”The High Dynamic-Range Oscilloscope

Peter Devore | 16-ERD-045


Photon-based oscilloscopes have the potential to boost the dynamic range of any electronic oscilloscope by up to an order of magnitude, and the potential is not limited by electronic noise and distortion. We developed a photonic oscilloscope, the eXtreme Dynamic Range Oscilloscope (XDRScope), that acquires 4 billion samples per second with 1,370 levels of resolution—over 3.5 times the resolution of state-of-the-art electronic oscilloscopes. The XDRScope couples the strength of high resolution sampling found in optics with the strength of high speed quantization found in electronics.

Impact on Mission

Our research advanced Lawrence National Livermore Laboratory's core competencies in lasers and optical science. Our findings enable measurements that meet the high-dynamic-range requirements for laser-fusion ignition measurements at Livermore's National Ignition Facility (NIF), ultimately supporting the Laboratory's stockpile stewardship mission. Our work also supports Department of Energy goals to strengthen key science, technology, and engineering capabilities and modernize the national security infrastructure, and our results have attracted interest from agency sponsors.