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A two-dimensional microstrip gas chamber (MSGC) has been developed with a 10 cm-square detection area and an ultrafast read-out system. The MSGC was made using multi-chip module (MCM) technology, and has a very thin substrate of 17 µm and many anodes and back strips, both with 200 µm pitches. The new read-out system, in which the hit addresses of the electrodes were sequentially encoded to the hit positions by a synchronous clock, handles data rates of up to 107 events s-1 from MSGCs. This enables the acquisition of fast and sequential digital images. Furthermore, since the MSGC is a real photon-counting detector, the timing of the photons, to an accuracy of a few tens of nanoseconds, and energy can be recorded. Here, the performance of the MSGC system as a real-time area detector is reported, and the abilities of this system are discussed.
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