Detectors and instrumentation

Detectors and instrumentation are essential to scientific discovery as it is the hardware that allows scientists to see what is happening in an experiment. All detectors work by interacting with particles or radiation to identify their type or properties. The interactions result (directly or indirectly) in an electrical signal. This signal has to be processed, analysed and converted into data that can be stored and presented to a scientist in a way that they can interpret an experiment.

STFC supports the development of all components of detector systems. This encompasses sensors and detectors, microelectronics, board level electronics, data processing, storage and visualisation of results.

Within the National Laboratories and numerous Universities there is a proven capability to deliver stand-alone systems or to work in collaboration with each other and with international partners to deliver large scale systems. The detector systems are used to detect particles, neutrons, electrons and ions as well as radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

For example:

Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Tracker Electronics:

Led by Prof Hall (Imperial College, London) the UK played a leading role in design, manufacture and installation of the world's largest Silicon particle Detector - the CMS at CERN, Geneva. Working in collaboration with University Colleagues in the UK and in CERN together we delivered the largest volume ASIC system at CERN's LHC. We also built a significant fraction of the data acquisition electronics and contributed to many other sub detectors.

The development and support of detectors and instrumentation occurs within the facilities, across the science program and National Laboratories. The delivery of world leading systems is underpinned by the Technology Strategy and development to meet the future needs of researchers, experiments and facilities.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000