Data Acquisition and Controls

The Scientific Computing Division (SCD) designs, develops and maintains hardware, firmware and software solutions for HEP and Astrophysics experiments in the areas of data acquisition (DAQ) and real-time systems. We leverage our experience with electrical engineering, software development and physics to develop integrated DAQ solutions. We collaborate with members of muon and neutrino, collider and astrophysics experiments.

Our work supports SCD’s strategy of providing common solutions that can be used by multiple experiments, and we provide a data acquisition software toolkit, reusable firmware components, reusable FPGA-based electronics, and a ready-to-use data acquisition system to experiments and test beam efforts. In addition, we develop custom electronics for specialized detector needs, and we perform detector and DAQ research as part of the Detector R&D program at Fermilab.

Our ready-to-use DAQ system is called otsdaq (off-the-shelf data acquisition). This system provides off-the-shelf firmware and software components that work with inexpensive commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware for data readout and other DAQ functions. One of the goals of the otsdaq project is to provide integrated readout of multiple existing particle detectors at the Fermilab Test Beam Facility (FTBF) with the detectors-under-test provided by experimenters. We expect that this integration will provide increased value to FTBF users.

We also oversee the Physics Research Equipment Pool (PREP), which provides electronic instrumentation for high energy physics research experiments according to agreements between approved experiment collaborations and SCD. Equipment can be borrowed for onsite use or offsite loans and collaborative agreements.