The buzz from CMS

Vivian O'Dell

Vivian O’Dell

The CMS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is buzzing with activity. The first year of Run 2 is ending, and as we near the end of 2016, we have our work cut out for us.

CMS is upgrading its inner tracking detector over the winter during a 21-week temporary halt of beams. We’re preparing for more upgrades during the second LHC long shutdown in 2018-19. We’re also finalizing designs for a major upgrade, targeting the 10-year running period from 2026-3035. CMS is like three experiments at once: one collecting and analyzing data, one in the final stages of building and installing, and one in the early design phase.

The major upgrade, the High-Luminosity LHC upgrades, targets the detectors as well as the accelerator, and Fermilab has major responsibilities in both of these areas. Fermilab is the host lab for U.S. contributions to CMS and is home to the CMS HL-LHC upgrade project office. We are also a major player in the upgrades of tracking, calorimetry and trigger. These upgrades will allow CMS to run efficiently in a high-collision-rate and high-radiation environment.

Last year, CERN officially approved the CMS and ATLAS detector upgrades to move from proposal phase to detailed technical designs, which is similar to a project “baselining” phase. This was followed in April with both NSF and DOE officially recognizing the U.S. contributions to the HL-LHC CMS upgrades: We received CD-0 approval for the detector upgrades from DOE and the official approval to move into the preliminary-design phase from NSF. The U.S. contributions to the accelerator also achieved CD-0 in April.

The next year will be a busy year for the CMS HL-LHC upgrades: In the United States we are planning for DOE CD-1 in the fall and the NSF Preliminary Design Review at the end of the year. Internationally, CMS is working on delivering four detailed technical design reports, which cover all aspects of the upgrades, their costs, and the planned international contributions to build and maintain them. Luckily the sun never sets on the CMS collaboration, and the CMS Center at Fermilab offers unlimited espresso.

Both upgrades, which will be installed over the next couple of years, will enable CMS to collect nearly 100 times more data at its current center-of-mass collision energy, which is roughly 14 TeV. That boost in data volume increases the potential for making significant discoveries of new phenomena to complete our understanding of particle physics and allows more precise measurements of Higgs boson properties and other tests of Standard Model processes.

Vivian O’Dell is the U.S. CMS Phase II upgrade project manager.