EUDAQ2: Enhanced data acquisition for test beams
Jennifer Toes, 17/07/2017

Yi Liu, the EUDAQ2 developer, pictured at DESY (Image: DESY)

Even relatively small detector prototypes produce huge amounts of data when exposed to energetic particles. Without fast, accurate data acquisition (DAQ) software able to manage, synchronise and sequence the streams of data, detectors would be unable to function properly.

As future colliders continue to emerge and develop, so too do their detector design concepts. As a result, data acquisition software systems must also change to adapt to new detector features to achieve the ideal levels of both control and flexibility. 

To this end, the AIDA-2020 project has released an upgraded version of EUDAQ, a data acquisition software originally created for pixel detector tests in conjunction with the EUDET beam telescope at the DESY lab in Germany, and later also at CERN. EUDAQ2 was developed by Yi Liu, a post-doctoral researcher at DESY, to make the software applicable to a wider range of different detector set-ups, such as gaseous trackers and calorimeters, for maximum flexibility in beam testing.

Commenting on the release of EUDAQ2, Yi Liu said, “To meet the user demands and maximise the detector capability, the original EUDAQ had to be upgraded. The nice code base of EUDAQ in combination with the modern C++ makes such a significant improvement in EUDAQ2 possible. EUDAQ2 has been re-designed to be modular, portable and flexible, with a framework which ensures that any future developments can be integrated without difficulty.”

The EUDAQ2 upgrade is more versatile than its predecessor, as it is not tied to one specific piece of hardware by design. This increased flexibility makes the software available to use in conjunction with different control and synchronisation systems and detectors with very different readout structures and rates.

This flexibility also facilitates easier and more efficient multi-detector analysis, as EUDAQ2 can adapt to the characteristics of multiple detector prototypes during testing. By providing an interface for multiple detector types, researchers can conduct more detailed analyses.

The code, written in the C++ programming language, boasts increased modularity, allowing users to recombine the software as they see fit to meet their specific requirements.

In addition, the output of the DAQ system will help researchers identify interesting particle events during their studies. EUDAQ2’s event output can be converted into several different formats for ease of use.

The upgraded software, originally targeted at linear-collider related developments, was used in beam tests at DESY in late 2016 and early 2017, for testing the CALICE AHCAL calorimeter with a EUDET beam telescope and a Trigger Logic Unit. Following these tests, EUDAQ2 was validated for release, immediately widening the range of applications. It has since been used in beam tests for the tracker upgrade of the ATLAS experiment, and will be used for tests of a combinations of prototypes for the CMS end-cap calorimeter upgrade.

The integration of further linear collider sub-detectors within EUDAQ2 is planned in order to facilitate more efficient data taking during combined beam tests.  Other detector systems are also encouraged to use EUDAQ2.

The EUDAQ2 software and operation manual is located online and can be downloaded by users as required.

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