Development of a high voltage system for the ATLAS Tilecal calorimeter and performance tests with high energy particles

DOMAIN: Technologies associated to the Portuguese participation at CERN and their transfer to society

SUPERVISOR: Guiomar Evans
CO-SUPERVISOR: Agostinho Gomes
HOST INSTITUTION: Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas
DEGREE INSTITUTION: Universidade de Lisboa


This thesis proposal focus on the development, implementation and integration of a high voltage (HV) system to be used in the Tilecal calorimeter for the operation in the future High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) environment (upgrade Phase II). Tilecal, the ATLAS hadron calorimeter in the barrel region is a key sub-detector used for the measurement of jets energy, missing transverse energy, identification of muons with low transverse momentum and for other physics’ tasks. All the Tilecal electronics is being upgraded for the HL-LHC operation. The current HV system is based on a HV distributor system located in the detector that receives a single HV per module as input and regulates the individual voltages to be applied locally to each photomultiplier tube (PMT). This concept has been in use in the Tilecal, and it has the important advantage of not requiring (a large number of) 100-150 m long cables from the HV regulator to the PMTs. In the upgrade, the HV system will be replaced since it has two drawbacks: the radiation damage and the impossibility of replacement of boards if a problem occurs since access is difficult and is possible only at the LHC shutdowns. The new HV system for the upgrade Phase II is a remote one. The HV boards will fit in crates that provide low voltage and that are located outside the ATLAS main cavern. They use standard electronics components since they are not located in the areas exposed to radiation inside the detector but this solution has the drawback of requiring a large number of long cables. A new control and monitoring system is being developed. The HV regulation and the respective control system designs are being finalized and the prototypes will be tested in the calorimeter environment in setups similar to the one of the ATLAS detector, using beams of high energy pions, electrons and muons at CERN and likely also in a special module that will operate in the ATLAS detector. These tests will allow to access the performance of the new Tilecal electronics that is being developed for the HL-LHC. Linearity, stability and noise of the developed system will be measured in the tests with beams of high energy particles and whenever possible in the ATLAS detector during the LHC Run 3 that will start in 2021. A special prototype called demonstrator featuring the new electronics for Phase II will be produced and it is expected to be inserted in the ATLAS detector for regular operation during LHC operation in Run3. This full integration in ATLAS will allow to test the system in the normal conditions of operation before the Phase II upgrade takes place and will give useful information about the performance for the future operation in Phase II.

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