The LHC 
straddles the Atlantic

The Fermilab Remote Operations Center for the LHC (LHC@FNAL Remote Operations Center) was officially inaugurated on 22 October.

Members of the CERN and CMS managements in the experimental cavern remotely inaugurate Fermilab’s Remote Operations Center (LHC@FNAL ROC) in the United States.

On the other side of the Atlantic, representatives of Fermilab, the DoE and the NSF listen to the CERN Director-General’s speech for the inauguration of the LHC@FNAL ROC.

Thanks to the phenomenal advances in the field of telecommunications, the LHC will be the first accelerator to be remotely monitored, remote being the operative word! On Monday 22 October, the Director of the US’s Fermilab, representatives of the US Department of Energy (DoE) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF), inaugurated the Fermilab Remote Operations Center for the LHC (known as LHC@FNAL ROC) together with the Director-General of CERN, the LHC Project Leader, the CMS spokesman and the US CMS project leader. The inauguration ceremony, which took place on both sides of the Atlantic (with the US representatives speaking from Fermilab in the US, while the CERN and CMS representatives were in the CMS cavern at Point 5 at Cessy) was highly symbolic of the close collaboration between CERN and the United States.

The LHC@FNAL ROC Center, located on the ground floor of Fermilab’s main building, the Wilson Hall, was designed to allow the scientists at Fermilab to remotely participate in some of the LHC commissioning and operation activities. For example, the US accelerator experts are carrying out monitoring operations at the Centre, particularly of components developed and built in the US. They will also take part in beam studies for the LHC.

The Centre will also play an important role in the CMS operating and control system. The experiment is setting up a network consisting of several control centres. Thus, the Control Room at Point 5 of the LHC, where the detector is physically located, will be backed up by a "CMS Centre" in Meyrin manned by up to 50 people and by various remote centres such as the LHC@FNAL ROC. These remote centres will perform various tasks, such as data quality control, data analysis, and calibration and operation of the computer systems for data handling, storage and distribution.

"With the 7-hour time difference, the work done at the LHC@FNAL ROC will help to improve the efficiency and reactivity of CMS during the crucial phase of data-taking", said Jim Virdee, CMS spokesman, during the inauguration. The US ROC, which opened at the beginning of the year, has already allowed CMS groups to take part in the commissioning and cosmic ray testing of CMS sub-detectors. It is now playing its part in the commissioning of the experiment as a whole. With 600 scientists and 47 institutes, the United States is the largest national group in the CMS collaboration.