Upgrade of the ALICE TPC detector, RCU2 step

Coordinating university: Lund University, 


Project description
Experiments in High energy physics run for several decades. Electronic components of higher performance become available over time. This motivated an upgrade of the readout electronics of the TPC detector in ALICE improving the data collection rate by a factor of 3. The figure shows reconstructed tracks in the TPC which produces huge data volumes. A science program expected to take 9 years could thus be finished in 2018 after 3 years, which translates to a saving of 600 person years just in operation of the experiment, not counting the 1000 collaborators who can complete their studies much earlier. The modernization involved new Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) for data collection which were replaced by the latest version and the readout architecture was made more parallel. The changes included massive firmware engineering and circuit board design/fabrication.

Lund University:

  • Anders Oskarsson, Professor, physicist, project leader, detector expert

  • Lennart Österman, Research engineer, electronics lead engineer, specification, quality control, electronics design

  • Mohammad Khorramnejadi, CAD engineer. PCB layout

Core deliverables
Halogen free circuit boards housing the 40 bit wide data bus for data readout.

Industry involvement

  • Cervitrol



Total budget
EUR 220,000


  • Lund University

  • Bergen Technical High School

  • KFI

  • GSI

  • CERN


Procurement codes
Electronics and radio frequency
Particle and photon detectors