This page contains information concerning the CERN ATLAS Team Tracker group (EP-ADE-TK) Test-beam campaign in SPS in 2021. A MALTA telescope is installed in the North Area SPS H6A beamline location PPE146 during the whole beam time of 2021. The goal is to measure different detectors with pions.

h6a-2021-07-23.jpg h6-beamline.png
H6A beam-line in the North Area of the CERN SPS

Contact People

Run coordinator Andrea Gabrielli +41 75 411 3820
Contact person Valerio Dao +41 75 411 6323
Contact person Carlos Solans +41 75 411 5518
ATLAS test-beam coordinator Andre Rummler +41 75 411 2448
H6 Beamline Physicist Dipanwita Barenjee +41 75 411 4065
SPS Desk in the CCC Operator on call   77500 or 70475
Nitrogen system expert David Jaillet +41 75 411 7151


Telescope Setup

The EP-ADE telescope is a MALTA based multi-plane tracking and read-out system composed of 6 reference planes. Each of the planes is connected to a Kintex7 KC705 evaluation board that provides a fast trigger signal to a Trigger Logic Unit (TLU), and receives a L1A signal to enable the recording of hits inside a predefined time window. The evaluation boards have a static local IP address assigned by the position of the DIP switches on the board. They are connected through USB to a DAQ PC, and trough RJ45 patch cords to an Ethernet Switch of a local network. The power supplies are controlled through RS232 via USB-to-RS232 adapters connected to the DAQ PC. The DAQ PC is connected to an Ethernet Switch of the CERN network. There is a router connected to the local network switch on the LAN side and to the CERN network on the WAN side.

EP-ADE-TEL-202107141531.jpeg EP-ADE-TEL-202107141534.jpeg EP-ADE-TEL-202107141539.jpeg EP-ADE-TEL-202107141541.jpeg

Port Local IP address Plane Type
50000 TLU None
50001 1 EPI
50002 2 EPI
50003 3 Cz
50004 4 Cz
50005 5 EPI
50006 6 EPI
50007 7 DUT1
50008 8 DUT2

EP-ADE MALTA telescope arrangement at SPS 2021


EP-ADE MALTA telescope connectivity at SPS 2021

Trigger and data flow

EP-ADE MALTA telescope data-flow at SPS 2021

Data taking procedures

Open the VNC connection

The DAQ is done from PS11, however we connect first to PS12 and ssh into PS11.

  1. If you are at CERN you can simply connect to PS12 by using:
     open vnc://pcatlidps12 
  2. If you are outside CERN you have to create an ssh tunnel. Be aware that running remotely implies that there is from time to time a delay in the PC interface, so be patient and don’t start clicking like a maniac. However, when the delay is very large, it might help to disconnect and reconnect again.
    1. Create a tunel from PS12 to your computer with:
       ssh -L 10002:pcatlidps12:5900 <username> 
      Alternatively you can use:
       ssh -L <username>
    2. On a Mac, open another terminal and type:
      open vnc://localhost:10002
      In TigerVNC you can connect to:

DAQ operation from PS12

Power up the telescope

Before starting a run, make sure MALTA is ON and DUT is ON. This can be verified by using the following command “monitorPSU”. This command can be run from any folder.

  1. With “MALTAON” the Epi planes are ramped to SUB=6 V. The Cz planes are ramped to SUB=30 V.
  2. The DUT is ramped separately with “DUTON” to 6 V. Depending on which SUB you want to run your tests with, you can ramp this voltage further with the following command: -c rampVoltage DUT_SUB  <target_voltage> <ramping time> 
  3. When the voltage step is large make sure to increase the ramping time (for instance 30). This is required when you take the data “manually” otherwise this will be done automatically with the automaticRun_desync(explained later)
  4. In case the voltage of the Cz planes needs to be lowered you can use -c rampVoltage SUBH  <target_voltage> <ramping time> 

Start the TLU

Start the TLU with the command:

python MaltaSW/MaltaTLU/share/
  1. The trigger logic that is being used at the moment is triggering at planes 1/3/4 and max trigger rate 5000 Hz and trigger length 120 ns. If anything changes in this configuration this will be communicated. The settings for the trigger logic should be documented in the SPS testbeam spreadsheet (see link at the top of this document).
  2. Check router hostname and port (ep-ade-gw-02 and 50000). To connect the TLU, simply click “connect”
  3. Options that can be passed to the
     Verbose: -v
       Online plot rate: -p 
       Save to root file: -s

Starting a Run

There exist two ways to launch a run.

  1. You can do it manually by using the following command in MaltaDAQ:
    MaltaMultiDAQ -c <configs/configurationfile> -r <runnumber>
  2. Or you can use in MaltaDAQ:
This has to be modified to include : the configuration files, the substrate voltages, and the number of events per point.

minutes = 2000000  #triggers in real life !!!
SUB_values  = [[6,6]]#,[7,7],[8,8],[9,9],[10,10],[11,11]]#, [15,15], [20,20], [25,25], [30,30]]
#SUB_values  = [6,9,12,15,18,21]
config_files = [

The manual option is interesting if you want to look at the noise rate or do a quick check. For both options it is important to use the correct configuration file (in automatic run this is edited in the script, for the manual run this is parsed as an argument).

  1. The configuration file contains the configuration for the telescope planes and the DUT. This means that this file contains the values for ITH/IDB/ICASN/IBIAS/IRESET/VCASN/VRESET_P/VRESET_D/VCLIP, of most interest are ITH and IDB. Furthermore, the file contains the pixels that should be masked for every plane for the corresponding configuration.
  2. In case you do the manual run, you parse the run number as an argument. The last used run number should be listed in the spreadsheet, but the data of the latest run can also be found in MaltaDAQ/TelescopeData.
  3. The automatic run requires editing the amount of events you want to run with (now this is called “minutes”), the sub value(s), and the configuration file. This script launches the run automatically and provides a print out in the terminal with some useful information such as the rate etc. The run will be closed automatically and all the important parameters (efficiency / configuration / cluster size ) are written into a SQL database.

Procedures for manual data taking

Now follow some instructions on how to proceed with the manual data taking through the MaltaMultiDAQ script.

  1. To start the run, make sure the GUI with the 7 planes (6x telescope + 1x DUT) pops up and then click run in the TLU GUI.
  2. Depending on how many events you require (shown in the plot as “nTrigger”), you can terminate a run by clicking “stop run” in the TLU. The remote connection is sometimes slow, so make sure to click only once and wait for it to respond (by clicking multiple times you might be ending/starting/ending etc. the run). Finally turn back to the terminal and terminate the run by using ctrl + c. You can double check to kill the run by ctrl + z and use kill %. The TLU does not need to be closed at this point (nor disconnected), you can keep it open for the next run. If you really have trouble terminating the run, you can also use a separate terminal and ssh into the PC and use “top” and kill the appropriate jobID.
  3. To be sure the power supplies aren’t in compliance, you can monitor the currents with the script mentioned before (monitorPSU)
  4. Make sure to log all information in the spreadsheet (# of events / run # / configuration etc.)
  5. When launching a new run, make sure to ramp the DUT to the desired voltage level and make sure to use the correct configuration file (you might need to change the DUT configuration for instance).
  6. In case you use this “manual” procedure to check the noise rate and would like to mask additional pixels, you can use the script xray plotting to see which noisy pixels need to be masked additionally in the configuration file. You can run
    python MaltaDAQ/ -f TelescopeData/<root file of plane of interest>
    This will provide a printout on the terminal with the noisy pixels and you can copy these and provide them additionally in the configuration file for the corresponding plane.
  7. While your new run is running, you can launch the analysis script of the run. The analysis is done on PS13, which reads in the data from PS11.
    1. One can run
      python MaltaSW/MaltaTbAnalysis/SPS/ -r <start run number> -r <end run number>
    2. To check if there are no desyncs, one can run
      root -l -q -b  MaltaSW/MaltaTbAnalysis/SPS/desynchChecker.C
      However, note that this script requires you to manually alter the runnumber.
  8. In case you are required to shut off the DAQ completely, you should make sure that the run is terminated as described before and following you can disconnect the TLU and use DUTOFF and MALTAOFF.

Additional monitoring scripts:

Environmental monitoring

The temperature/environmental monitoring scripts can be found in MaltaDAQ/Temperature_Control

which lets a GUI pop up with the following temperature profiles (from top to bottom): Environmental temperature / environmental humidity / dew point / temp NTC 1 / temp NTC 2 / temp MALTA 1 / temp MALTA 2. Temperature log is written automatically in templog.dat, but can be written in separate file, such as :
python templog.txt

Change of beam status

To be completed by Abhi

How to move the DUT

The cold box has an independent linear stage that can move in X and Z. Independent package has been developed by Tobias.

  1. Know the position of the axis:

  1. Move the axis by aa given amount:
    /home/sbmuser/StageControlCpp/standa2/x86_64-centos7-gcc8-opt/SPS_Malta_ZAxisCtrl -m [abs|rel] -u cm -d [distance]

Running with BCM prime

BCM prime is hosted as a DUT inside the telescope. The read-out is done with DRS. The trigger mode is acknowledged. For each coincidence Triggered by the TLU, there is a signal sent to the DRS, that is returned to the TLU. The TLU then distributes a L1A to all the MALTA planes and other DUTs connected to it.

The TLU firmware capable of doing it is: TLUCore_v2_20210908_da86f96a.bit

Major updates: Milou van Rijnbach, Ignacio Asensi

Responsible: CarlosSolans
Last reviewed by: Never reviewed

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Topic revision: r9 - 2021-10-21 - CarlosSolans
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