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The major advantages of nuclear emulsion for detecting charged particles are its submicron position resolution and sensitivity to minimum ionizing particles. These must be balanced, however, against the difficult manual microscope measurement by skilled observers required for the analysis. We have developed an automated system to acquire and analyze the microscope images from emulsion chambers. Each emulsion plate is analyzed independently, allowing coincidence techniques to be used in order to reject background and estimate error rates. The system has been used to analyze a sample of high-multiplicity Pb-Pb interactions (charged particle multiplicities ∼1100) produced by the 158 GeV/c per nucleon 208Pb beam at CERN. Automatically measured events agree with our best manual measurements on 97% of all the tracks. We describe the image analysis and track reconstruction techniques, and discuss the measurement and reconstruction uncertainties.

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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

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