Computer Technology

TGL Ronald Starink


  • Development of a new concept for Grid storage systems, which allows to store 350 TiB of data in one system and access the data at a rate of 40 Gb/s.
  • Successful tests of long-range Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) equipment between Nikhef and CERN, resulting in sustained network traffic at a bandwidth of 900 Gb/s over a distance of 1800 km.
  • Application of the RCauth Certificate Authority developed at Nikhef in Project MinE, enabling ALS researchers distributed over the entire world to work together and access (Grid) compute and storage systems.
  • Continued software development in support of various experiments, such as the Felix system for Atlas, a test setup for the LHC-b Velo modules and the firmware for the KM3NeT detectors.

Electronics Technology

TGL Ruud Kluit


  • For LHCb VELO a new front-end ASIC (VeloPix) is developed in collaboration with CERN. The ET group contributed with a configuration interface and a fast and low power 5Gbps serializer circuit. This circuit transforms the pixel data (particle hits) into a high speed serial data stream, such that 4 of these circuits can transmit 20Gbps that can be generated on the chip for particle tracking in the LHCb VELO detector. Related to this the complete transmission line from IC to DAQ system has been analyzed and optimized. The VeloPix final production will be realized in 2018 to be ready in time for module assembly, and installed in the experiment in 2020.
  • New front-end electronics for the LHCb SciFi detector is developed, and is now ready for production in 2018. Irradiation tests of the electronics have been performed and the module design is accepted. Complete system tests are executed where the correct behavior of the module, together with other system components is demonstrated. The system should be installed in 2019.
  • A co-design of a MEMS sensor (Detector R&D group) with a front-end electronics ASIC (ET group) is ongoing. The ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is designed and that should enable to connect the MEMS vibration sensor to a digitizing circuit in the ASIC in a later phase. The prototype ASIC is in production and is expected for tests in combination with the sensor early 2018. The ASIC comprises switched capacitor circuits and gain stages.
  • The design of the FELIX Data Acquisition System for the ATLAS muon detectors is developed further. The FELIX system is also under evaluation for other ATLAS subdetectors and the ProtoDUNE experiment. At a design review late 2017, the performance of 24 implemented channels (=target) has been demonstrated. The expected final prototype of the hardware has been delivered in December 2017, and the final steps in design of the firmware will be made in 2018. Many modules will be installed in ATLAS in 2019-2020.
  • The ISOTDAQ International School was organized at Nikhef in 2017 by the ET department (A. Borga et al.). The School  is dedicated to introduce MSc and PhD students to the “arts and crafts” of triggering and acquiring data for physics experiments. It provides an overview of basic instruments and methods used in high-energy physics, small experiments in the lab and the very large LHC experiments, emphasizing the main building blocks and different architectures. The school time was divided into lectures and laboratory exercises for the 52 students to explore the technicalities.

Mechanical Technology

TGL Patrick Werneke


  • The complex geometry of two monolithic full-size RF box prototypes for the LHCb Vertex Locator (VELO) have been successfully machined, with the critical foil milled to thicknesses of 0.5 and 0.25 mm.
  • For the LHCb Scintillating Fiber detectors (SciFi) everything has been prepared for the production of the Readout boxes and modules. The production will start early January 2018.
  • The first dummy stave with ‘real’ silicon for the ALICE Inner Tracker was successfully produced. This means the start of the stave production.
  • For ATLAS an ITk mock-up with two wheels was built. The coming year this mock-up will be used amongst others for testing the installation of services.
  • The production of the Scintillator Surface Detector (SSD) ) for the upgrade of the Pierre Auger Observatory has been prepared to start in January 2018.