High energy physics and particle detectors

LIFAELS - Laboratori d'Instrumentació per a Física d'Altes Energies - is a laboratory mainly devoted to electronics instrumentation for high energy physics experiments, with a branch on Cellular Neural Networks which has evolved into mobile robotics and into robotics for child recovery.


The history of the group begins at the time when the Experimental High Energy Physics in Universitat de Barcelona entered the LHCb collaboration. The group offered the Electronics Department of Enginyeria i Arquitectura La Salle (Universitat Ramon Llull) to join, together with the UB Electronics Department, to design and implementation of the Front End electronics of the Scintillator Pad Detector in the Calorimeter system. Bound to this project, a number of people started to work in instrumentation for high energy physics detectors. The project needs fostered the group growth up to the current number of six members plus students performing their Electronics Engineering master theses. Since December 2003, the group is known as LIFAELS. The lab evolution is directly related to the development of the LHCb project, together with the UB. LIFAELS has been responsible for the design, implementation and installation of the SPD VFE and CB boards, but also has participated in the test and data acquisition systems for Test Beams, the ASIC tests, the photomultiplier characterisation, etc. It currently holds the responsibility of the coordination of the calorimeter experiment control system, the maintenance and operation of the SPD and is actively participating in physics analysis and the development of the electronics for the upgrade of the LHCb calorimeter. Prior to joining the LHCb collaboration, some members of the group were working in robot vision using cellular neural networks (CNN) in collaboration with Università di Roma, La Sapienza. This research line remained active in parallel with the work in LHCb and evolved into deeper studies of CNN implementations on FPGAs, and learning. From the works on robotics vision for autonomous mobile robots, the use of robots from a pedagogical point of view was considered and turned into the use of robots for helping the recovery of children with certain problems such as autism or brain trauma, in collaboration with the Sant Joan de Déu children hospital and Tuft's University. This parallel line has been integrated in the overall LIFAELS activities since, on one hand, the use of cellular techniques is a promising solution for particle detectors and many technologies are shared in the hardware implementation. At present, the group has two members in the IEEE technical committee in Cellular Nanoscale Networks and Array Computing, one of which is chair elect and holds a project funded by 'La Marató de TV3' for introducing robot-based activities in the recovery of children with brain trauma.

Electronics & Communications Xavier Vilasís-Cardona xvilasis@salle.url.edu

Publications can be partially followed from the LHCb publication page

The LHCb Detector
Current activities

We describe in the following, further details on the main LIFAELS project in High Energy Physics instrumentation, namely the contribution to LHCb. Other activities can be seen in the Cellular Neural Networks area and the Robotics for helping disabled children.

Studying CP violation with the LHCb detector

LIFAELS main involvement is with the LHCb collaboration, more specifically in the calorimeter project.

Electronics - High energy physics and particle detectors