Data acquisition systems for the Megapixel detectors at the XFEL and for future high energy physics experiments

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


The student project would fit into program of R&D into data acquisition (DAQ) systems suitable for a number of future applications, and specifically Megapixel detectors planned for the X-ray Free Electron LASER (XFEL), which require high data rates, low latency and possibly triggering. The work aims to exploit the latest advances from industry and to develop a system which is flexible, scalable and upgradeable. Often DAQ systems are a secondary part of a project, with little time apportioned to development. Usually, older systems are selected which present far reduced risk (at the cost of reduced performance). By developing a DAQ system prior to, or in parallel with, the projects that will eventually need it, we can provide a sufficiently powerful, modern, standards-based system and reduce risk and development time. Both groups, UCL and STFC laboratories (RAL), have a strong history of DAQ systems and are also both looking to exploit future technological advances. We are now collaborating on providing DAQ systems for the XFEL detectors, pooling our expertise with the aim of providing a working system on the timescale of the end of the proposed student's PhD. This project would provide the student with many skills which could be used in an academic and industrial environment alike. The work would involve all aspects of DAQ hardware and software development: design, firmware development, software to control the system, laboratory and beam tests and final installation with the detectors.


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Description Apart from technical contributions to a new large-scale facility, European XFEL, the major result was developing the most efficient muon beam in the world. Such a muon beam can be used in particle physics and elsewhere and the technology has implications for a neutrino factory or muon collider,
Exploitation Route For future development of a muon facility.

Use firmware for EuXEL.
Sectors Electronics,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description Firmware has been developed to link the megapixel detectors to the control system to be used at European XFEL. Demonstrated the most efficient production of a muon beam.
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description Contract with EuXFEL
Amount € 861,213 (EUR)
Organisation European XFEL 
Sector Academic/University
Country Germany
Start 10/2009 
End 09/2015
Description COMET Collaboration 
Organisation High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)
Department Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Large High Energy Physics Collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Host of experiment
Impact Design reports, secured approval of experimental programme
Start Year 2009
Description MUSIC Collaboration 
Organisation Osaka University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint collaboration on MUSIC experiment
Collaborator Contribution Hosted experiment and joint work.
Impact Reports and papers.
Start Year 2009