The heart of CERN

A proposal to improve the CERN visitor's experience once the LHC is closed and running

André David

June 29, 2006



There are thousands, if not millions of operations taking place at the same time every second at CERN. These are the heartbeat that makes it possible that, in the end, discoveries can be made.

Every single operation taking place at CERN is associated to some kind of visual monitoring. Experiments, in particular, have all sorts of interesting event and detector displays, while the accelerator complex also monitor the progress of beam particles from the source to the experiments.

It would be interesting to provide in some visitable place (Globe, Microcosm, etc) a large amount of panels displaying all this data.

This can to a great extent replace the thrill that many visitors report from visiting the underground sites of the LHC, by providing an overwhelming amount of graphical information illustrating the complexity of the operations undertaken at CERN.

In a nutshell, this could be the Visitor's way to see CERN as a living, pulsating being where an astounding amount of simultaneous activities take place in perfect harmony.

Information Sources

Source Contact Person Status Remarks
CCC AB/TS?    
PS AB/TS?    
SPS AB/TS?    
LHC AB/TS?    
CNGS AB?    
CMS PH?    
LHCb PH?    
AD ?   Asacusa, Atrap, Alpha, etc
CAST PH?    
ISOLDE ?   Perhaps too small?
IT Farms ?    
IT Network ?    
IT Storage ?    
Grid ?    
Papers     Plots from publications

Besides data, perhaps there are feeds from cameras (webcams, surveillance systems) which could also be used.

Possible setup for the display

There should be 3 large screens, each surrounded by 3 or 4 smaller ones. These 3 main areas would correspond to "Beams", "Experiments" and "Data".

The larger screen would show a particular source of imagery for 1 minute or so, while in the smaller screens the different feeds would be replaced in a much faster way.

Some 3 to 6 computers would be needed to manage all the graphics.

Interfacing the sources to the display

This is clearly the hardest part: making sure that the information coming in can actually be displayed.

The Multimedia group at CERN should be able to help in handling video feeds and converting them to some format that can be easy to display.

Also the people that made the so-called "Page 1" in the Teletext should be able to help.

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Topic revision: r3 - 2006-08-16 - AndreDavid
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