AIDA – pushing the boundaries of European particle detector research

AIDA (Advanced European Infrastructures for Detectors at Accelerators), a new project co-funded by the European Union and worth a total of 26 million euros, will be officially launched at CERN next week. The kick-off meeting will take place on 16-18 February, during which Europe-wide detector physicists will come together to begin work on detector infrastructure developments for future particle physics experiments.


Coordinated by CERN, AIDA involves more than 80 institutes and laboratories from 23 countries as beneficiaries or associate partners (the full list can be found here). This four-year project will receive 8 million euros from the European Commission's FP7 Research Infrastructures programme.
AIDA will develop facilities covering the four main goals identified by the European Strategy for Particle Physics. These are the LHC upgrade, Linear Colliders, Neutrino facilities and Super-B factories. These facilities will also be available for other researchers in the fields of nuclear and particle physics.

The AIDA project is divided into three main activities: Networking, Joint Research and Transnational Access. These activities are further subdivided into work packages, each with one or more people responsible for their coordination.

The networking activity will develop computer simulations of particle detector events, such as modelling their geometry, tracking particles and developing ways of interpreting the data collected. Researchers will study promising new technologies such as 3D detectors and the electronics needed to build them. These developments will be enhanced by planning interactions with appropriate industrial contacts.

The joint research activity will see many of the partners working together to improve existing beam lines and design new ones to test particle detectors. This activity will develop the equipment and technology needed to produce gaseous detectors, pixel detectors, silicon tracking devices and calorimeters.

The transnational access activity will offer European researchers from outside the AIDA project funding to access world-class beam lines for testing particle detectors at DESY and CERN and irradiation facilities at JSI (Slovenia), UCL (Belgium) and KIT (Germany).

This collaboration will keep Europe at the forefront of particle physics research. AIDA takes advantage of the world-class infrastructures existing in Europe for the advancement of research in detectors for future accelerator facilities. Further details of the project and transnational access funding can be found here and details of the kick-off meeting are available here.


by Naomi Gilraen Wyles