Computer Solutions in Use at the GSI FAIR Heavy Ion Accelerator

Beam Diagnostics and Particle Detection based on MicroTCA Systems

The applied computer systems are used in combination with cameras and scintillators for particle detection, i.e. for recording particle collisions, and for beam diagnostics.

The applications require highest data throughput, latest computer technology with long availability (15 years or more), reliability in continuous operation and the possibility of remote maintenance. In addition, the computer systems must meet extreme EMC requirements in order to enable trouble-free operation of 16-bit ADCs.

The solution is based on powerBridge Computer standard MicroTCA systems with 6 or 12 slots, Intel Xeon CPUs from Concurrent Technologies and N.A.T. MCHs, these are supplemented by high-speed ADCs and frame grabbers / camera interfaces. PCIe x8 Gen 3 links on all slots enable the required high data throughput.

Source: GSI Darmstadt

The use of modular computer systems based on latest standards is an essential prerequisite for long product availability and thus for the long-term operation of the FAIR accelerator. The MTCA.4 standard supports the interference-free acquisition of high-speed signals, enables their processing without data loss and thus the generation of high-resolution, noise-free images. Remote maintenance down to the module level is a major simplification on a large campus like FAIR.


Source: GSI Darmstadt

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