NOνA (E929)
NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance Experiment

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NOvA DAQ System for TIPP 2011 Conference

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Submitted by:
Susan Kasahara
Updated by:
Susan Kasahara
Document Created:
02 Jun 2011, 12:28
Contents Revised:
12 Jun 2011, 21:29
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02 Nov 2012, 14:46
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The NOvA (NuMI Off-Axis nue Appearance) experiment is a long-baseline neutrino experiment using the NuMI main
injector neutrino beam at Fermilab and is designed to search for numu->nue oscillations. The experiment will consist of
two detectors; both positioned 14 mrad off the beam axis: a 222 ton Near detector to be located in an underground cavern
at Fermilab and a 15 kton Far detector to be located in Ash River, MN, 810 km from the beam source. In addition, a
prototype Near detector is currently in operation in a surface building at Fermilab. The detectors have similar design, and
consist of planes of PVC extrusions cells containing liquid scintillator and wavelength shifting fibers. The fiber ends are
readout by Avalanche Photodiodes (APDs). The primary task for the Data Acquisition (DAQ) system is to concentrate the
data from the large number of APD channels (360000 channels at the Far Detector, 16000 channels at the Near Detector),
buffer this data long enough to apply an online trigger, and record the selected data. The concentration of the data is
accomplished through the use of a custom hardware component Data Concentrator Module (DCM). The intermediate
buffering of the data is accomplished through a computing buffer farm, in which each node runs software to apply an
online trigger to a time slice of data received from the DCMs. Data correlated with the beam spill time as well as random
data samples for calibration purposes and events with interesting topology may be selected by the online trigger. In
addition to those components involved in managing the data flow, the DAQ system consists of peripheral components for
monitoring data quality and DAQ performance, run control, configuration management, etc. The design of the DAQ
system, with emphasis on the DAQ software, will be discussed as will experience with its deployment on the prototype
Near Detector.
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