SNO+ Electronic Upgrades

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Aithousa Mitropoulos

Aithousa Mitropoulos

Megaron, Athens - Greece


Dr robert knapik (University of Pennsylvania)


The SNO+ experiment is designed to explore several topics in neutrino physics, including neutrinoless double beta decay and low energy solar neutrinos. SNO+ uses the existing Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), with the heavy water target replaced with liquid scintillator. Only a few additional modifications are needed to transition from SNO to SNO+, but one of these will be an upgrade to the electronics to handle the higher rates expected with scintillation light as compared to Cherenkov light. The primary upgrades are aimed at increasing the bandwidth for reading data from the front end electronics crates, and to the trigger system to allow for higher analog currents. For SNO, each of the 19 front-end crates digitized and recorded the PMT signals but data could only be read out one crate at a time. With the upgrade to the new electronics, each of the 19 crates will autonomously push data to a central data acquisition computer, yielding at least a factor of 19 times more bandwidth. The autonomous readout is achieved with a field programmable gate array (FPGA) with an embedded processor. Inside the FPGA fabric a simple state machine using VHDL is configured to pull data across the VME-like bus of each crate and store the digitized PMT signals in a local memory buffer. A small C program, making use of open source Light Weight IP (LWIP) libraries, is run directly on the hardware (no operating system) to send the data via TCP/IP to the central data acquisition computer. The hybrid combination of `high-level' C code and `low-level' VHDL state machine is a cost effective and flexible solution for reading out individual front end crates.

Primary author

Dr robert knapik (University of Pennsylvania)


Mr Richard Bonventre (University of Pennsylvania) Mr Timothy Shokair (University of Pennsylvania)

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