* Technical groups

Computer Technology

TGL Ronald Starink


  • Continued software development in support of various experiments, such as the Felix system for Atlas, completion of the controls software for the test setup for the LHC-b Velo modules and work on the controls for the SciFi detector in LHC-b.
  • Ensuring compliance of the IT systems including the websites with the EU law on data protection, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Upgrades of the printers, the storage system for data and the application servers dedicated to various research and technical groups.
  • Implementation of new systems to monitor the availability of services and to collect and display system metrics.
  • Realization of IP roaming between the institutes at Science Park, which enables users to work anywhere on Science Park and use the (eduroam wifi) network as if they are located inside their own institute.

Electronics Technology

TGL Ruud Kluit

Highlights 2018:

  • For the ATLAS muon detectors a new data acquisition system is in design; FELIX. In 2018 major design- and review milestones have been met, such that the design (board) is now in production and being prepared for installation in 2020. In addition, phase II of the project started to upgrade the design for the next LHC upgrade during LS3 (2024). Nikhef contributes with significantly on design and coordination of the FPGA firmware and the control software.
    The FELIX system has also been demonstrated as a successful readout system for protoDUNE detector at CERN. This system is therefore a good candidate to be used in the future DUNE experiment in the USA.
  • The Km3net experiment requires accurate timing throughout the entire detector (>km3) and this is implemented using the White-Rabbit (WR) protocol addition to ethernet. To further improve WR timing, accurate (< ps) calibration methodologies are required. For this development an EU proposal was submitted (EMPIR-WRITE) and it got approved. The method is developed and presented (paper) at the International IEEE Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization for Measurement, Control, and Communication (ISPCS 2018). This paper received the “best paper award”. The effort supports the general WR improvements for wider implementation of accurate timing synchronisation in future physics experiments and also commercial applications.
  • For LHCb VELO a new front-end ASIC (VeloPix) is developed in collaboration with CERN. The ET group contributed a 20Gb/s readout circuit and additional logic.The purpose of this Pixel-sensor readout-chip is particle tracking in the LHCb VELO detector. After testing and applying design improvements, the final VeloPix chip was successfully produced.
  • As a follow-up project the TimePix4 chip is being designed and almost ready for production early 2019. Again together with CERN, where Nikhef’s contribution is fast arrival time measurement (200ps res.) on particle detection, and 80Gb/s readout circuitry. This IC will be used as an R&D device for experimental detector modules for future experiments with even more advanced time measurements.
    A new fast readout system (SPIDR4) for this IC is in design, in collaboration with a commercial partner (ASI), to be available before the TimePix4 arrives.
  • For the LHCb SciFi detector new electronics has been developed and mass production is now ongoing. Production, testing and module assembly is outsourced to industry. A Design For Manufacturability (DFM) approach has been applied with success in cooperation with the industrial partner to achieve good reliability of the modules. Installation will start late 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 has been tested successfully.  The ASIC comprises switched capacitor circuits and gain stages, and demonstrates good performance. A successor with more functionality is now in design.
  • Furthermore general electronics support from the ET group enabled during 2018 good progress in the assembly of detector modules for the VELO detector (VeloPix IC’s), staves for the ALICE Inner Tracker System, Km3Net optical network & detector modules and Advanced Virgo instrumentation.

Mechanical Technology

TGL Patrick Werneke


  • LHCb Vertex Locator (VELO):
    • Two aluminium RF boxes have been machined.
    • All tooling for module production has been finished.
  •  LHCb Scintillating Fiber detectors (SciFi):
    • Module production has been completed.
    • 48 out of the 280 Cold Boxes have been produced.
  •  ALICE Inner Tracker (ITS):
    • 9 out of 30 staves have been produced.
    •  ATLAS Strip Endcap (ITk):
    • The mockup has been successfully tested.
    • The Endcap ITk passed its Final Design Review (FDR).
  •  Advanced Virgo:
    • Design for the Frequency Dependent Squeezing technique has been completed.
  •  KM3NeT:
    • 18 Digital Optical Modules (DOM) have been produced.
    • 60 Vertical Electrical Optical Cables (VEOC) have been procured through the European tendering process.