Minutes of the 11th LHC Electronics Board held on 11 December 1998.


P. Borgeaud, Ph. Farthouat, F. Formenti, A. Johnson invited for point 4), G. Hall, P. Le Du invited for point 5), M. Letheren,
E. Petrolo, S. Quinton, M. Schmelling, P. Sharp Chairman), G. Stefanini, W. Smith, M. Turala, G. Viertel.


J. Christiansen, F. Corsi, V. Radeka.

1.     New Members

The Chairman welcomed M. Schmelling who, together with J. Christiansen excused), represents the LHCb collaboration. G. Viertel, Chairman of the ACES1, was welcomed as an ex-officio member.

2.     Minutes of the Eighth and Tenth meetings

The minutes of the eighth and tenth meetings of the LEB were approved.  W. Smith requested the addition of a footnote to the minutes of the tenth meeting in order to explain that it had subsequently been decided to move the location of the 1999 LEB workshop from Breckenridge to Snowmass see section 4).

3.     Matters arising from the minutes

P. Sharp had invited P. LeDu the General Chairman for the IEEE NSS/MIC meeting in Lyon in 2000) to discuss possible synergies between the IEEE meeting and the LEB workshop see section 5).  P. Sharp also reported on a meeting with L. Foà and R. Cashmore in which the Board's recommendation to create a new type of common electronics project had been discussed.  The Directors had been in agreement with the proposal and had indicated general guidelines for such projects.  They encouraged the submission of proposals for common activities such as the support of the optical Timing Trigger and Control TTC) distribution system, and for the coordination of the qualification and procurement of Commercial Off The Shelf COTS) electronics components for radiation environments.

4.     Status of Preparations for the 1999 LEB Workshop

W. Smith reported that the US local organizing committee had decided to change their original proposed location Breckenridge, in the Colorado Rockies) to nearby Snowmass. The dates of the workshop are unchanged 20-24 September 1999), and a workshop web site has been created at http://hep.physics.wisc.edu/LEB99 .  After hearing details the Board approved the new location.

5.     Synergy between IEEE NSS-MIC Conference and LEB 2000 Workshop

P. LeDu, the General Chairman for the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference NSS/MIC) in Lyon in 2000, presented the status of plans for the event and underlined the potential advantages to be gained from a synergy with the LEB Workshop.  The Board agreed that a synergy between the two events could potentially bring a number of important advantages both to the HEP instrumentation community and to attendees from other disciplines Nuclear Physics, AstroParticle- and Astrophysics, Molecular Biology, Medical Instrumentation, etc.).  Nevertheless, members of the Board maintained their reservations concerning the compatibility of the objectives of the LEB workshops with those of the large, multidisciplinary IEEE conference.  A number of possible scenarios for synergy were discussed and the Board resolved to conclude on the issue and give feedback to P. LeDu after its next meeting 20 Jan 1999).

6.     RD48 Milestones

In response to a request from the Board and taking into account its latest results the RD48 collaboration had clarified and prioritized a proposed set of four major milestones.  The Board discussed the proposed milestones in the light of generically supportive) comments received from the ATLAS and CMS tracker communities.  However, before making a recommendation on the future RD48 programme of work, the Board decided to ask the RD48 collaboration to provide details on the budgetary contributions expected from the various member institutes for the proposed milestones.

7.     Common Project on COTS

The safe selection and procurement of radiation-tolerant Commercial-Off-The-Shelf COTS) components and subsystems is increasingly coming to be recognized as one of the most complex and critically important issues facing the LHC collaborations in the final design and construction of the on-detector and in-cavern LHC electronics systems.  It will require the adoption of radically different procedures for component and sub-system qualification and procurement. In addition, specialized expertise and the mobilization of considerable human resources, as well as access to a range of radiation-test facilities, will be needed.  A number of activities have already been started both in ATLAS and in CMS, as well as in the LHC machine sector.  The Board strongly recommends the establishment of a common project framework in order to coordinate such activities and to minimize duplication of effort.

M. Letheren reported that, by building on the expertise within RD49 and the contacts already established with specialized institutes ESA and Sandia Labs and others), one could in principle spawn a new common project for the coordination and optimization of radiation-tolerant COTS component qualification and procurement procedures.  To be useful such a common project would require acceptance by the Collaborations, and allocation of moderate resources by the CERN management.  The Chairman stated that the CERN Research Directors supported setting up common projects of the type proposed and had indicated their willingness to provide some resources for the coordination function, on condition that at least two experiments would also participate actively.

The Board invited the CERN microelectronics group and the RD49 collaboration to submit a more detailed proposal for such a common project.

8.     Coordination of activities with ACES

G. Viertel, Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Electronics Support ACES)2, presented the mandate of ACES and described its activities, which so far have mostly concentrated on issues concerning the CERN EP-ESS group Electronics Pool, On-line Systems support, support of VME backplane standards, etc.).  A discussion took place concerning the differences in the mandates of the LEB and ACES, harmonization of activities of the two committees, and the mechanisms used by ACES to establish the viewpoints of the experiments on electronics support issues.  On this last point, it was pointed out that the mechanism proposed by ACES bypasses the internal electronics coordination of the LHC experiments and should therefore be revised.

9.     AOB

The proposed dates for LEB meetings in 1999 see minutes of the 10th meeting) were approved with the possible exception of 18 June, which may be moved because it overlaps with the IEEE Real Time Conference).

The Board decided to structure the agendas for the 1999 meetings at its next meeting.


1 Advisory Committee for Electronics Support

2 ACES was set up in mid 1998 and replaces the Electronics Pool Advisory Committee EPAC).  It has a broad mandate covering all electronics support groups in the CERN EP Division