U.S. CMS detector upgrade project completes successful review

The U.S. CMS collaboration recently wrapped up their DOE CD-2/3 review. Photo: Cindy Arnold

Earlier this month, the U.S. CMS detector upgrade project completed a major DOE critical-decision review — two, in fact. Project members are calling the combined review a success, and they hope to receive approval later this year to execute the upgrade.

The $45 million U.S. CMS detector upgrade project, to which 30 U.S. institutions contribute, focuses on enhancements to three major components, allowing the CMS detector to handle the LHC’s higher luminosity: the forward pixel detector, the hadron calorimeter and the level 1 trigger. Once approved to proceed, the collaboration will upgrade the components, equipping the detector to collect 10 to 25 times more data than it could previously.

“The project team did an excellent job presenting the status of the work to the DOE team at the CD-2/3 review,” said Mike Lindgren, Fermilab’s chief project officer. “It’s clear that they’re on track to deliver several very important parts of the CMS Phase I upgrade.”

The recent successful presentation to the DOE review committee focused on two project phases. Critical decision 2, or CD-2, approval would mean that DOE accepts the project’s baseline cost, scope and schedule. CD-3 approval would mean that CMS can begin constructing the detector components. Because of the project’s advanced state of development, the reviews for baseline and construction readiness were allowed to happen simultaneously.

Each of the three detector components slated for upgrades plays a different role in measuring the particles coming out of the LHC’s colliding proton beams. The enhancements are crucial to recording and interpreting the collisions that will come out of the LHC over the next 10 years, when it will collide beams two to three times more intense than in its first run.

The original detector was not built for these intensities. Without the CMS upgrades, the detector would suffer significant performance degradation, affecting the discovery potential as the LHC’s beam intensity increases.

“These are pieces that the United States had primary responsibility for 15 years ago,” said Steve Nahn, U.S. CMS detector upgrade project manager. “We’re just continuing on our responsibilities.”

The detector parts are being built at Fermilab and the 30 U.S. universities.

“Most people think of CMS as a purely European project, but that’s not true. The United States plays an enormous role in the success of the LHC,” Nahn said. “The project would like to thank Fermilab, the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and everyone who has made the project a success so far.”

Hanae Armitage