A hardware and software system has been developed which is capable of automatically acquiring and analyzing intensity-time data from a dc arc source. This system is based on a computer-coupled photodiode array spectrometer with which 260 Å of continuous spectral information can be simultaneously measured and stored directly in a small computer. With the present system up to seven time sequential spectra, each representing the integral of the spectral intensity over times ranging from 1 to 10 sec, can be automatically obtained during a dc arc burn. The time interval spectra can then be analyzed under computer control and the intensity-time curves for any desired lines can be plotted on a computer terminal within about 2 min after termination of the are burn. The application of the system to some simple dc arc time studies is discussed and illustrated.

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