from 27 February 2017 to 3 March 2017
Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics
Asia/Novosibirsk timezone
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Contribution Contributed Oral

Electronics, Trigger and Data Acquisition

Data Aquisition System for the PENeLOPE Experiment using the Unified Communication Framework


  • Mr. Dominic GAISBAUER

Primary authors


  • Mr. Igor KONOROV (Institute for Hadronic Structure and Fundamental Symmetries, Technical University of Munich)
  • Mr. Dmytro LEVIT (Institute for Hadronic Structure and Fundamental Symmetries, Technical University of Munich)
  • Prof. Stephan PAUL (Institute for Hadronic Structure and Fundamental Symmetries, Technical University of Munich)


PENeLOPE is a neutron-lifetime experiment aiming for high precision by counting neutrons and decay protons. The proton detector consists of about 1250 Avalanche Photodiodes (APDs) with a total active area of 1225$~$cm$^2$. The detector and electronics will be operated on a high electrostatic potential of -30$~$kV, in a magnetic field of 0.6$~$T and at a temperature of 77$~$K. The electronics include low-noise preamplifiers, CR-RC shapers, ADCs and FPGAs. Each FPGA reads out 96 12-bit SAR-ADCs with 1$~$MSps in parallel. We developed a firmware for the FPGAs including a self-triggering readout with continuous pedestal calculation and configurable trigger threshold. The data transmission and configuration is done via the Unified Communication Framework (UCF) we developed at the Technical University of Munich. UCF is a unified network protocol developed for FPGAs with built-in high-speed serial interfaces. It provides up to 64 different communication channels via a single serial link. One channel is reserved for timing and trigger information, the other channels can be used for slow-control interfaces and data transmission. All channels are bidirectional and share network bandwidth according to assigned priority. The timing channel distributes messages with fixed latency and low jitter (about 20$~$ps) in one direction. From this point of view the protocol implementation is asymmetrical. The framework supports point-to-point connections and star-like 1:n topologies. The star-like topology can be used for front-ends with low data rates and time-distribution systems. In this topology, the master broadcasts information according to assigned priorities, the slaves communicate in a time-sharing manner to the master.

The project is supported by the Maier-Leibnitz-Laboratorium (Garching), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Excellence Cluster "Origin and structure of the Universe".