The IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium 2016 (NSS) covers – for scientists and engineers alike – the latest developments in instrumentation and data processing of the fields of particle and nuclear physics, astrophysics, space science, security, energy and environmental sciences, and radiation therapy. The program spans a wide field of techniques from both single-channel, small detectors to large detector systems. The symposium offers outstanding opportunities for scientific exchange on radiation detectors and instrumentation and fosters progress throughout. In 2016 it will be hosted in Strasbourg, France.

The NSS program format consists of plenary, parallel, and poster sessions. More than 800 abstracts were submitted and an outstanding program has been put in place. You can find it online on this same site or by using the conference app.

This year two joint sessions will be held with the MIC and RTSD communities. They are an opportunity to highlight transverse research works between communities. And the sessions on Monday will be followed by the NSS dinner. It will take place in the Orangerie, a pleasant and relaxing place.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with your feedback, suggestions, and questions, by sending an email to nss2016program@physik.uni-freiburg.de.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy the exciting 2016 IEEE NSS/MIC/RTSD symposium and are looking forward to meeting you in Strasbourg, France, in the heart of Europe, in autumn 2016.

Eckhard Elsen
NSS Program Chair
CERN - Switzerland

Susanne Kuehn
NSS Deputy Program Chair
Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany

nss topic description

Accelerators and particle beams have numerous applications in scientific research and imaging: as sources of light or RF power, for creating particles, studying the structure of matter and the origin of the universe, and to cause nuclear reactions or treat tumours. The quality of a beam delivered by an accelerator is limited by the instruments that measure them. Therefore advances in accelerators need to be accompanied by innovation in beam instrumentation. We welcome contributions from the field of beam instrumentation, both to review state of the art instrumentation in accelerators and beam-lines, and to present recent developments and new concepts. In several oral and poster sessions we will cover the following topics (and more):

  • Beam position monitors
  • Transverse and longitudinal profile monitors
  • Beam loss monitors
  • Beam intensity detectors and current monitors
  • Emittance (projected and sliced) measurements
  • Energy and energy-spread measurements
  • Halo measurement and collimation
  • Luminosity measurements
  • Instrumentation for novel acceleration techniques (for example laser and beam driven plasma wakefields)
  • Damping, cooling systems and feedback systems, and associated instrumentation
  • Polarisation measurements
  • Detection electronics techniques
  • Insertion device developments
  • In situ X-ray beam diagnostics, and associated instrumentation
  • Advances in X-ray optics
  • High throughput and multi-purpose beam-lines

Topic Conveners: Edda Gschwendtner, CERN, Switzerland, and Stewart Boogert, RHUL, UK

Computing and Software for Experiments has undergone rapid growth in recent years and is now among the most active topics within the NSS. Large increases in data throughput, processing power, and experiment complexity, as well as unprecedented demands on measurement precision, have all contributed to an increased emphasis on computing and software needed to collect and analyze data. Concurrent advances in computing platforms and analysis tools are required to keep pace. The NSS sessions on Computing and Software will cover wide range of tools and applications in the field, with an emphasis on submission that address the following:


  • Workflow Management
  • Frameworks and pipelines
  • Large-scale data stores
  • High Level Triggering
  • Reconstruction Methods
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Signal Extraction
  • Machine Learning
  • Fitting and Optimization


  • Medical Physics
  • Nuclear Security
  • Radiation Detections
  • High Energy and Nuclear Physics
  • Astrophysics and Space Science


  • Realtime Data Reduction and Fusion
  • Highly Parallel and Hybrid Architectures
  • Distributed Computing and Distributed Data Management
  • Large/Complex Data Sets

Topic Conveners: Amber Boehnlein, Jefferson Lab, USA, and Borut Kersevan, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenija

The exploration of the Universe is facing a new era of multi-messengers observations which require cutting-edge instrumentation both in space and on ground. Its exploration faces the challenges to find the dark matter, to understand its nature and the nature of dark energy, to unravel the secrets of matter acceleration to the highest energies.

New astronomies, such as neutrino and gravitational wave, are seeing their birth in this decade and will flourish opening new reach to the limits of the universe and to the inner depths of sources, revealing new potentials compared to photons. The advanced versions of the interferometers are taking data and the LISA pathfinder is in space. The cubic-kilometer neutrino telescope IceCube runs in the ice and discovered cosmic neutrinos, while already in the plans are detectors in the sea of comparable size and discussions are being held on extensions to 100 km^2 size. This is an exciting time to discuss the reach of these new windows on the Universe and their connections to the more established photon astronomies.

Established messengers like photons span many decades in energy from radio waves, where the future challenge is SKA, cosmic microwaves, with running missions such as Planck and planned M2 missions such as Euclid, which passed its preliminary design review, to the E-ELT in the optics/near IR and the high energy domain of violent non-thermal phenomena. Astro-H has just been launched, with its unprecedented sensitivity for high-resolution x-ray spectroscopy, and ATHENA is being planned, while Fermi still takes data and delivers an enormous amount of data and serendipitous discoveries such as the bubbles departing from the Galactic Centre.

The TeV universe is observed from ground with the Imaging Atmospheric Technique telescope arrays, H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS which collected more than 150 sources, some of which are not observed in other energy bands. The big step forward is being planned with CTA now entering the construction phase and LHAASO in its design phase.

Dark matter and cosmic ray searches are conducted in space, with AMS, PAMELA, and now also DAMPE in orbit. Underground dark matter search experiments such as LUX, XENON1T, SuperCDMS, DAMA, explore new physics beyond the Standard Model and future larger detectors are already in the plans. The detectors themselves are improving rapidly based on the recent evolution of technology. There are many progresses on solid state detectors, such as CCDs, SiPM, CdTe, or CZT, for X-ray imaging and spectroscopy. SiPMs and silicon tracking detectors are employed in gamma-ray telescopes, X-ray satellites and LHC and dedicated electronics is continuously developed. New micro pixel gas detectors are developed with sophisticated read-out analogue ASICs. New crystals are used for next generation scintillation counters. Demands on calorimeters for ultra-high-resolution spectroscopy push up cryogenic technologies in space. Noble liquid detectors and bolometers are pushing the frontier of low background rare event searches for dark matter and neutrino-less double beta decay. Accompanying with the innovation of the detectors, the number of readout channels is expanding these days. Their hundreds or thousands of channels require sophisticated data acquisition and processing systems. X-ray mirrors with newly developed technologies are one of the key devices for future missions, and gamma-ray focusing lens have potential to explore the high-energy processes in universe such as an electron-positron annihilation line or nuclear decay lines from nucleosynthesis.

Finally, the future of astronomy relies also on advanced computing technologies, big data science and new policies on data sharing.

Topic Conveners: Daniel Haas, SRON, The Netherlands, and Teresa Montaruli, University of Geneva, Switzerland

The field of calorimetry is currently evolving rapidly, with very diverse applications of different techniques for energy measurement in particle, astro-particle and nuclear physics. For example, new techniques have been developed in high energy physics that now find applications in running experiments and are further developed for application at future accelerators, such as highly granular calorimeters with imaging capabilities and calorimeters using dual readout techniques. In the field of nuclear physics, new gamma detectors are proposed to equip the calorimeter systems to achieve excellent energy resolution to be used as an identification tool for many processes. And in astro-particle physics, new generations of calorimeters, in particular bolometers, are being developed to further increase the sensitivity for direct dark matter searches. New techniques are also being investigated in neutrino and related fields.

The Calorimeter session will cover the full breadth of the field of detectors and techniques for energy measurement in high energy, nuclear and astro-particle physics. This includes the modeling of interactions in the calorimeters and their simulation.

We invite contributions from all of these areas, and are looking forward to an interesting program in Strasbourg.

Topic Conveners: Imad Laktineh, University Claude Bernard-Lyon I, France, and Frank Simon, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Physik (Werner-Heisenberg-Insitut), Germany

Circuits for Readout and Triggering has always been a very active topic of NSS. Since the first radiation detection measurements, readout circuits have been the fundamental connection between the physics of the detector and that of the measurement. The evolution of this field has been guided by the nature of the ever-changing world of radiation detectors, but has also had the unique opportunity of leveraging on progress made thanks to tangible investments in non-directly related fields: for example, progress made in Silicon devices technology has undoubtedly had significant repercussions in the field of radiation detection electronics. Thanks to this unique advantage, the world of circuit design for radiation instrumentation has always offered interesting discoveries and unique techniques. We are looking forward to continuing the tradition in 2016.

The Circuits for Readout and Triggering sessions of the 2016 NSS will cover a wide range of sub-topics from different applications, ranging from circuit design techniques to implementation, testing and manufacturing. We encourage submissions that describe, but are not limited to:


  • Discrete and integrated circuits in analog, digital and mixed-signal
  • Front-end electronics
  • Analog signal processing
  • Digital signal processing
  • Power reduction techniques
  • Power conversion and distribution
  • Analog-to-digital conversion
  • Triggers
  • High speed techniques
  • Fast timing
  • Novel uses for Field Programmable Gate Arrays


  • Astrophysics
  • High energy physics
  • Photon science
  • Nuclear physics
  • Homeland security
  • Treaty verification
  • Nuclear forensics


  • Low noise designs
  • Low power designs
  • High density designs
  • Low cost designs
  • Circuit design in advanced CMOS
  • High or low operating temperatures, unusual environments
  • Radiation-hard designs

Topic Conveners: Martin Purschke, BNL, USA , and Valerio Re, University of Bergamo, Italy

Triggering, data acquisition and analysis systems are key elements of many areas of the experimental sciences. Modern DAQ and trigger systems use more and more commodity hardware and software components. The trend has been accelerated with the increasing performance of networking and computing. Commodity components together with custom-designed hardware, firmware and software modules frequently coexist in the same system. Fast signal digitisation is followed by signal processing performed completely in the digital domain using state-of-the-art field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), graphics processing units (GPU) or application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC). Front-end systems are becoming more powerful and housing increased capabilities. Requirements for large systems may include system testing and debugging, reliability and fault-tolerant systems and online calibration. The NSS sessions on Data Acquisition, Trigger and Analysis Systems will cover this wide range of systems and applications in the field.

We encourage submissions that include (but not limited) the following areas:

  • Data acquisition and event builders
  • Trigger systems
  • System architectures
  • Intelligent signal processing
  • Programmable devices
  • Processing farms
  • Fast data transfer links, switches and networks
  • Systems for extreme conditions (radiation, space, cryogenic temperatures)
  • Control, calibration, monitoring, and test systems
  • New hardware and software standards
  • Emerging technologies


  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Fusion
  • Astrophysics and Space Science
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Medical Physics
  • Nuclear and Home Land Security
  • Material Sciences

Topic Conveners: Stefan Ritt, PSI, Switzerland, and Isabel Trigger, TRIUMF, Canada

While they represent one of the earliest forms of radiation sensor, gaseous detectors maintain their importance as key components of the majority of experiments in fields where detection of radiation takes place. Continuous progress in understanding the physical amplification processes, gas properties and development of dedicated simulation tools has yielded increasingly versatile detector designs and optimization. Classical techniques like MWPCs, drift chambers, RPCs prove their effectiveness in many present high energy and nuclear physics experiments for tracking, triggering, photon detection, particle identification and calorimetry. Developments in printed circuit and semiconductor technologies, particularly when coupled with highly integrated electronics, have resulted in new generations of Micropattern Gas Detectors with improved position resolution and rate capability, such as GEM, MICROMEGAS, THGEM and Digital Pixels. We invite researchers active in the field of gaseous detector development, and those experimenters working with gaseous detectors, to report on their recent progress and achievements, particularly on the following topics:

  • New techniques and technologies for charged particle, neutron and photon detection
  • Tracking and triggering with gaseous detectors
  • Micropattern Gas Detectors
  • Small pixel anode arrays and integrated electronics
  • TPC readout developments
  • Fundamental gas studies and gaseous detector simulation
  • Large gaseous detector systems
  • Radiation hardness and ageing

Topic Conveners: Leszek Ropelewski, CERN, Switzerland, and Graham Smith, BNL, USA

High Energy Physics (HEP) studies the fundamental constituents of matter and their interactions. This requires the highest energies and extreme interaction rates, making high energy and high intensity accelerators as well as detector systems optimized for these facilities the central tools of the field.

The presently most prominent facility is the Large Hadron Collider LHC, which has been operating at close to full design energy from last year after a very successful first running period which culminated in the discovery of a Higgs boson. This discovery has focused the planning for future large colliders at the energy frontier, such as the International Linear Collider, an electron-positron collider capable of a precise exploration of the Higgs, Top and electroweak sector and with complementary reach for New Physics, and possible future facilities at CERN, including the multi-TeV Compact Linear Collider and a very high energy hadron collider. Besides these projects at the highest energies, there are other facilities in operation and under construction which explore the intensity frontier of particle physics with extremely high interaction rates at lower energies. Complementary to these experiments at the energy and luminosity frontiers, are low background underground studies of very rare processes.

The detector systems at these facilities are instrumental to achieve the ambitious physics goals. Advancement in technologies on all aspects of these complex systems is critical to meet the requirements imposed by upgrades of existing accelerators and by the planned future facilities. This session will review the current status of high energy physics detectors and will cover the advancements and future prospects in various areas. The focus will be on understanding challenges in making progress in the current detector systems and technologies and specifying R&D needs to establish solutions to outstanding physics problems anticipated in the future.

The HEP instrumentation sessions covers the following key topics:

  • HEP Detector Systems
  • Neutrino Detectors
  • Deep Underground Detectors
  • Tracking and Vertexing Systems
  • Muon and PID detectors
  • Beam Instrumentation
  • Test Beam Facilities

Topic Conveners: Peter Krizan, Jozef Stefan Institute Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Hajime Nishiguchi, KEK, Japan

Nuclear reactors are complex systems that are operated and controlled via a variety of instrumentation systems. These systems often comprise software, firmware, logic-based control, sensor, and detection systems, electronic systems and electrical actuation. The environment associated with a reactor system is challenging because of the harsh conditions that often include high levels of radiation and excessive pressures, and temperatures but also because these systems are required to perform reliably for long periods of time. Access for maintenance and repair can be complicated and frequent intervention is rarely possible.

There are over 435 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in the World today providing over 11% of the World’s electricity. In addition to the generation of electricity, approximately 240 research reactors are used for the development of new ideas, the production of irradiated materials and medical isotopes and some 140 reactors are used to power ships and submarines: all of these reactors comprise complex instrumentation systems on which their safe and efficient operation relies.

Experimental reactors and nuclear power is an area of great topical interest, not only are a significant number of new reactors being constructed and commissioned, requiring new control and protection instrumentation systems, but also the lives of existing reactors are being extended to long-term operation whilst other reactors are being uprated to enable them to produce more power. Instrumentation requirements need to be adapted to cope with these developments, and this can require updating and refurbishment of aged systems, whilst ensuring that such systems meet both operational and regulatory requirements. Regulatory processes have adapted as a result of the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks and Fukushima, and debate continues associated with the vulnerability of instrumentation systems associated with control and instrumentation systems to interdependency and cyber attack.

Looking ahead, a variety of new developments face this field including the instrumentation requirements of Generation IV reactor designs, long-life cores, small modular reactors (SMRs) and reactors utilised to provide process heat directly to pharmaceutical production plant.

As entitled, this session is focussed on research, development and innovation in the field of instrumentation and measurement associated with experimental reactors and nuclear power. This includes the needs of research reactors, materials testing reactors, reactor prototypes, existing power reactors, reactors under commissioning, activities relating to life extension requirements and uprating. Authors are encouraged to submit papers describing original contributions to the field of experimental reactors and nuclear power including but not limited to the following topics:

  • The implications of long-term operation and uprating on the needs of instrumentation,
  • GenIII+ instrumentation systems and recent experience of commissioning and regulatory processes,
  • Materials test reactors and zero-power reactors and their instrumentation needs,
  • Future developments and instrumentation requirements including GenIV, SMRs and long-life cores,
  • Innovative radiation detector electronics and advanced data acquisition associated with experimental reactors and nuclear power,
  • Reactor imaging systems and dose assay techniques in realistic radiation fields,
  • Instrumentation and measurement techniques for nuclear material, control and characterisation (nuclear fuel, safeguards, non-proliferation, decommissioning, waste management and spent fuel management).

Topic Conveners: Abdallah Lyoussi, CEA Cadarache, France, and Malcolm Joyce, Lancaster University, United Kingdom

The Instrumentation for Security sessions will present new results on techniques for the detection, localization, and characterization of materials of interest for nuclear security, in particular, special nuclear material. These techniques are of interest in many applications in the areas of nuclear safeguards, arms control, nonproliferation, and counter-terrorism. Particularly challenging applications include treaty verification, proliferation detection, unattended safeguards, wide-area search in urban and suburban environments, detection of highly-shielded materials (e.g., material shipped in a cargo container), detection along attended and unattended land and sea borders, and of materials transported by general aviation aircraft. Detection platforms include fixed and mobile land-based systems, airborne systems, and maritime systems. Advanced system concepts, detector performance, and algorithms are needed to enhance or enable such applications as well as leveraging of multiple radiological and/or non-radiological signatures. System concepts include active interrogation, standoff detection, and distributed sensors.

Detector types range from neutron and gamma-ray spectroscopic personal radiation detectors, to handhelds and backpacks, to large-area detectors, to advanced imaging detectors. Detection, radionuclide identification, and imaging algorithms are of high interest, as well as advanced algorithms for fusing data from multiple detectors and/or multiple signatures. Experimental and simulation-based performance assessments to characterize existing techniques and to guide the development of new, more advanced techniques are also of interest. Such assessments rely on accurate representations of threat and non-threat scenarios to maximize the probability of detection while minimizing the occurrence of false and nuisance alarms.

Contributions to the NSS that are primarily about new detector material should be submitted to the Scintillators or Semiconductor Topic Areas. In addition, contributions that are primarily about electronics development should be submitted to the Analog and Digital Electronics Topic Area.

Topic Conveners: Richard Kouzes, PNNL, USA, and Celeste Fleta, CSIC, IMB-CNM, Spain

Neutron Detectors and Instrumentation covers a wide range of subjects and all scientists and researchers are invited to submit an abstract to this topic. This includes but is not only limited to a varied range of neutron detectors, measurement methodology, characterization of new detection mechanisms as well as applications and instrumentation. A successful implementation of different technologies to a successful detector system for a specific task, requires a deep understanding of neutron converters, timing characteristics, energy resolution, spatial resolution, radiation damage, power consumption, readout electronics and the environmental area where the detector will be installed.

The topics (alphabetic order) to be covered include:

  • Characterization of neutron background at accelerators and in underground experiments
  • Combined neutron and gamma-ray detectors
  • Compact, low-power, rugged detectors
  • Cosmic ray neutron spectroscopy and space applications
  • Experiments with cold neutrons
  • Fundamental research with neutrons
  • Gamma-ray rejection methods and algorithms
  • Large-area thermal neutron detectors
  • National and homeland security
  • Neutron-based techniques for material analysis and nondestructive testing
  • Neutron detection for petroleum and gas exploration
  • Neutron diffraction and scattering experiments
  • Neutron radiography and tomography
  • Neutron spectrometry
  • Novel detection systems meeting requirements for high count rate, position sensitivity, or fast neutron spectroscopy
  • Nuclear safeguards including high flux measurements at nuclear facilities
  • Systems and methods for multiplicity counting

Topic Conveners: Ralf Engels, Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH, Germany and Richard Hall-Willton, European Spallation Source ESS AB, Sweden

Solid-state detectors are employed in a wide range of fundamental and applied science. Large area semiconductor detector arrays provide secondary vertex finding and charged particle tracking capabilities which are widely used in many experimental fields, particularly particle physics, while energy measuring detectors, using for example high purity germanium or sodium iodide, find applications ranging from nuclear physics and nuclear security to medical and industrial sensor systems. Significant cross-disciplinary know-how has been growing in the scientific community, addressing state-of-the-art technology, material science, microelectronics, high-density interconnection techniques and system integration.

Nevertheless, a number of environmental issues can limit the applicability of such new technologies with high radiation levels often proving the most challenging. All aspects of the detection systems then need to meet exacting requirements in terms of radiation hardness, which often drive the adoption of highly innovative approaches to sensing, read-out, low-mass support, integrated cooling, on-detector data processing, etc. Fields such as nuclear and particle physics, space research, synchrotron radiation research, neutron physics, medical and industrial applications, often have very different requirements in terms of the types of radiation, the instantaneous and integrated doses, other complicating environmental factors, levels of acceptable degradation and other scientific considerations and constraints.

Furthermore, the huge benefits from the development of new solid-state detectors with increasing integration of the sensor, electronic readout and data processing can only come at the cost of adding further complications. These latter technologies represent one of the major areas for new developments in solid-state detectors, irrespective of radiation-hardness or other issues, as does research in a range of new solid state photon, scintillator and ionization sensing media. Another important trend is the development of even more sophisticated technologies for building structures and depositing layers, including techniques from nano-science. Again, for some applications, the additional constraint of understanding possible radiation damage effects often provides the basis for intensive research programmes.

Authors are invited to submit papers describing original contributions dealing with all aspects of Novel Solid-State Detectors and Radiation Damage Effects. The following list of topics is provided to guide the submission of abstracts:

  • Monolithic detectors for vertexing, tracking, high granularity calorimetry and other applications.
  • Highly segmented, high precision timing detectors.
  • Novel application areas for solid-state detectors.
  • New materials and technologies for sensors and readout electronics.
  • Advanced packaging, interconnect, cooling and assembly technologies: materials, processes and reliability.
  • Advanced methods and systems for the characterization, production testing and calibration of solid state detectors.
  • Simulation of radiation fields for future experiments and evaluation of the implications for the detector system design and performance.
  • Microscopic and macroscopic damage of materials for sensors and electronics, including modeling, simulation and aspects related to measurements techniques, characterization of defects and their short- and long-term behavior, annealing effects, impact on the performance of electronics, sensors and detection systems, etc.
  • Radiation assessments on prototype circuits and modules with integrated sensors and read-out electronics (both hybrid and monolithic).
  • Semiconductor detectors for aggressive environments other than radiation, e.g. extreme temperatures, vibration, humidity, dust, gases or other special conditions.

Topic Conveners: Phil Allport, University of Birmingham, UK, and Luciano Musa, CERN, Switzerland

Nuclear Physics Instrumentation covers a wide range of detector technologies for nuclear physics experiments in areas from rare nuclear decays to heavy ion collisions. These include, but are not limited to, various types of particle tracking detectors, energy measuring devices, and particle identification systems. This topic typically focuses on large detector systems, reporting on performance, experience in long term operation, commissioning tests, beam test results, as well as proposed future detector systems for nuclear physics. Contributions are solicited on the following topics or related subjects:

  • Underground & low background detector systems
  • Time-projection Chambers
  • Gamma tracking in segmented HPGe detectors
  • Calorimetry
  • Large scale tracking detectors, including silicon trackers, drift chambers, and micro pattern detectors
  • Large scale scintillation detectors for measuring photons and/or charged particles
  • Neutron detectors
  • Cherenkov counters
  • Time of Flight detectors
  • Calibration systems for detectors used in nuclear physics experiments
  • Applications of nuclear physics instrumentation in other areas such as space science and astrophysics

Topic Conveners: Maria Jose Gracia Borge, CERN, Switzerland, and Lorenzo Fabris, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA

Development of novel sensors with low light intensity detection capability is a very active field of research with direct applications in radiation imaging including: particle and astro-particle physics, Cherenkov imaging, material analysis, medical imaging, fast imaging, homeland security systems and neutron imaging. This session will review progress in the development of detection systems and detector components for radiation imaging as well as recent theoretical advances in the field. Special emphasis will be on recent progress in silicon-based matrices of Geiger avalanche diodes (SiPMs) and developments of conventional PMTs and hybrid photo diodes (HPD) which can enable advanced imaging systems.

Experience gained from the deployment of radiation imaging detectors in large systems such as high-energy physics and neutrino experiments are welcome. We encourage also papers reporting new developments in particle identification combining different techniques, such as Cerenkov light imaging & time-of-flight/time-of-propagation, and associated electronics and readout systems.

The session is expected to cover the following topics:

  • Radiation imaging theory and simulation
  • Novel photo-detectors:
    • Silicon photomultipliers
    • Multi-anode micro-channel plate (MCP) PMTs
    • PMTs with enhanced quantum efficiency
    • Large area light sensors
    • Hybrid photodetectors (HPDs)
  • Novel imaging systems
  • Novel components technologies
  • Radiation imaging techniques for large objects or areas

Topic Conveners: Erika Garutti, University of Hamburg, Germany, and Sergey Barsuk, IN2P3/LAL, France

Can we design and build a detector, just based on simulation?

With increasing complexity and channel count of large detector systems, but also with more sophisticated micro-electronics integration of sensor and read-out elements, the development of new detector technologies involves considerable investments in time and resources, in particular, if the cycles include semi-conductor industry. With processing power and data reduction being moved more and more to the front end, system design must consider the response to complex topologies, and the simple scaling from prototype to full detector does not lead to efficient results.

Consequently the role of simulations to guide the prototyping towards an efficiently streamlined development is enhanced. This trend is matched by advances in the predictive power of simulation tools for the modeling of, e.g, complex monolithic semi-conductor structures, gas amplification structures or hadron shower development.

For this session we invite contributions on currently ongoing R&D that highlight the connections between detector prototypes and simulation-based predictions for their performance, rather than focusing on the detailed hardware implementation, or on the advanced model building alone.

Targeted communities

  • High energy and nuclear physics
  • Astrophysics and space science
  • Radiation detection and nuclear security


  • Charged particle tracking
  • Calorimetry
  • Particle identification
  • Hybrid and monolithic semi-conductor systems
  • Ultra-pure systems

Topic Conveners: Nicolo Cartiglia, INFN, Torino, Italy, and Felix Sefkow, DESY, Hamburg, Germany

The Nuclear Science Symposium has been at the forefront of scintillator research since Robert Hofstadter announced his discovery of thallium doped sodium iodide at the first symposium. Since that time, the ever increasing demands for higher performance radiation detection systems in applications ranging from medical imaging to high energy particle physics to national security have motivated researchers to discover, develop, and implement new scintillator technology. Over the last 60+ years, many of the key discoveries in this field have been reported at the Nuclear Science Symposium.

Scintillator research is a truly multidisciplinary field including contributions from solid-state physics, chemistry, optics, materials science, and crystallography.

Successful implementation of scintillator technology requires in depth understanding of fundamental mechanisms, timing characteristics, energy resolution, light collection, optical coupling, manufacturing techniques, thermal response, radiation damage, and signal readout methods. The NSS provides an international forum for researchers, manufacturers, and end users to discuss the latest developments in the field and to anticipate future trends.

The topics to be covered include:

  • New scintillation materials
  • Crystal growth and other synthesis technologies
  • Manufacturing and assembly processes
  • Radiation damage mechanisms
  • Scintillators for neutron detection
  • Scintillator readout methods
  • Applications in high energy and nuclear physics
  • Applications in homeland security
  • Applications in medical imaging
  • Applications in astrophysics
  • Applications in oil well logging

Topic Conveners: Étiennette Auffray, CERN, Switzerland, and Roger Lecomte Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

The successful development of new detectors and detector concepts has played a pivotal role in the scientific success of synchrotron storage ring and Free-Electron Laser (FEL) sources. Further increases of photon beam luminosity, with high degree of coherence, promised by Diffraction Limited Storage Rings and very high repetition rate FELs will enable once again new exciting studies of complex systems and ultrafast processes, in a wide variety of scientific fields, from condensed matter to materials science, chemistry and biology.

It is beyond doubt that in order to fully exploit the scientific opportunities offered by these upcoming photon sources, we have to continue to develop new detectors and detection concepts. Recent technological developments in various fields like: micro-electronics, CMOS imagers, high-z semiconductors, data transmission, etc. offer great opportunities to meet this challenge. At the same time system integration, detector calibration, data acquisition, data handling and processing remain non-negligible challenges, even for today’s systems.

This session offers a platform for scientific exchange on photon science detector system development, addressing specific challenges of the field such as:

  • Systems with very high dynamic range
  • Fast readout imaging detectors
  • Energy resolving detectors
  • Large imaging area detectors
  • Photon beam diagnostics
  • Soft x-ray detectors
  • Hard x-ray detectors (both direct and indirect detection)
  • Detector electronicsy
  • Data acquisition and processing systems
  • System integration
  • Calibration techniques, analysis and visualization tools

Topic Conveners: Gabriella Carini, SLAC, USA, and Heinz Graafsma, DESY, Germany

nss plenary speakers

Einstein's Gravitational Waves Observed
Prof. Barry Barish, California Institute of Technology, USA


Barry Barish is the Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology. He is a leading expert on gravitational waves, having led the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project as the principal investigator and director from the beginning of construction in 1994 until 2005. During that period, LIGO detectors reached design sensitivity and set many significant limits on astrophysical sources. The more sensitive Advanced LIGO proposal, which recently discovered gravitational waves, was developed and approved while Barish was director. He continues to play an active leading role in LIGO. His other noteworthy experiments include an experiment at Fermilab using high-energy neutrino collisions to reveal the quark substructure of the nucleon. These experiments were among the first to observe the weak neutral current, a linchpin of the electroweak unification theories of Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg. Barry Barish is also the former director of the Global Design Effort for the international Linear Collider (ILC), the highest priority future project for particle physics worldwide.


Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves 100 years ago. They have been recently observed from a pair of merging Black Holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The physics of gravitational waves, the detection technique, the observation including latest results and its implications will all be discussed.

The Next Generation of Large Neutrino Oscillation Experiments
Prof. Mark Thomson - University of Cambridge, UK


Mark Thomson is Professor of Experimental Particle Physics at the University of Cambridge. His research career has focused on neutrino physics, electroweak physics at electron-positron colliders, calorimetry and the development of advanced analysis/reconstruction techniques. He is currently the co-spokesperson of the DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) collaboration, which will be the largest particle physics project ever undertaken in the U.S. Previously he made major contributions to the study of neutrino oscillation physics with the MINOS experiment. During his time at CERN, he led several of the key measurements of the properties of the W and Z bosons at the OPAL experiment at the Large-Electron-Positron (LEP) collider at CERN. He is one of the pioneers of Particle Flow Calorimetry that lies at heart of many concepts for future collider detectors. More recently he has applied these techniques to the reconstruction of neutrino interactions in large liquid argon time projection chambers, such as MicroBooNE and DUNE. He is also the author of “Modern Particle Physics”, which was published in 2013 and is now established as one of the leading undergraduate/graduate textbooks in particle physics.

Mark Thomson received his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 1992 working on the study of cosmic-ray muons in the Soudan-2 experiment at the Soudan mine, Northern Minnesota. From 1992 - 1994 he was a research fellow at University College London. He spent the next six years at CERN, first as a CERN Fellow and then as a CERN Research Staff Scientist. He was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Cambridge in 2000 and was promoted to Professor of Experimental Particle Physics in 2008.


Neutrinos are the most numerous type of matter particle in the Universe. However, these “ghostly” particles are incredibly difficult to detect, mostly passing freely through matter. Nevertheless, as a result of a series of innovative large experiments in the last 20 years, we have learnt a great deal about neutrinos. For example, we now know that neutrinos have a mass, providing clear evidence for physics beyond the our current understanding. This achievement was recognised through the award of the 2015 Nobel prize for physics to the leaders of the SNO and Super-Kamiokande experiments for the conclusive establishment of the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations. Much of what we know about neutrinos comes from studying neutrino flavour oscillations, whereby one type of neutrino transforms into a different type as it propagates over a large distance.

The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is the next step in this decades long experimental programme. DUNE will address profound question in neutrino physics and particle astrophysics. DUNE consists of an intense neutrino beam fired a distance of 1300 km from Fermilab (near Chicago) to the 40,000 ton Liquid Argon DUNE detector, located deep underground in the Homestake mine. In this talk I will describe the scientific aims of DUNE, focussing on the experimental challenges in constructing an operating very large liquid argon time projection chamber detectors. I will also discuss the complementary experimental approaches being adopted by the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment in Japan and the JUNO experiment in China.

European Open Science Cloud
Dr. Bob Jones - CERN


Bob Jones is a leader of the Helix Nebula initiative (http://www.helix-nebula.eu/), a public private partnership to explore the use of commercial cloud services for science applications. He is the coordinator for the HNSciCloud Horizon 2020 Pre-Commercial Procurement project (http://www.hnscicloud.eu/) which is procuring innovative cloud services to establish a cloud platform the European research community. HNSciCloud builds on the results of the Procurement Innovation for Cloud Service in Europe (PICSE http://www.picse.eu/) project that raised awareness of procurement of cloud services for the public sector.

Bob also participates in the EIROforum IT Working Group (http://www.eiroforum.org/) and is the editor of the recently published series of e-infrastructure documents (http://zenodo.org/record/7592).

Bob was until recently the head of the CERN openlab project (http://openlab.cern.ch/) which is a unique public-private partnership between CERN and leading ICT companies. Its mission is to accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions to be used by the worldwide Large Hadron Collider (LHC) community.

His experience in the distributed computing arena includes mandates as the technical director and then project director of the EGEE projects (2004-2010) which led to the creation of EGI (http://www.egi.eu/).


The work of Helix Nebula has shown that is it feasible to interoperate in-house IT resources of research organisations, publicly funded e-infrastructures, such as EGI and GEANT, with commercial cloud services. Such hybrid systems are in the interest of the users and funding agencies because they provide greater “freedom and choice” over the type of computing resources to be consumed and the manner in which they can be obtained.

But to offer such freedom and choice across a spectrum of public and commercial suppliers, various issues such as service integration, intellectual property, legal responsibility and service quality need to be addressed as the next stage of a Science Cloud Strategic Plan. Investigating these issues is the focus of the PICSE project within the Helix Nebula initiative.

Propelled by the growing IT needs of the Large Hardon Collider and the experience gathered through deployments of practical use-cases with Helix Nebula, CERN has proposed a model for a European Open Science Cloud which has been further expanded by the EIROforum research organisations.

The European Commission has committed to establish an Open Science Cloud starting in 2016 for European researchers and their global scientific collaborators by integrating and consolidating e-infrastructure platforms, federating existing scientific clouds and research infrastructures, and supporting the development of cloud-based services.

This presentation will explore the essential characteristics of a European Open Science Cloud if it is to address the big data needs of the latest generation of Research Infrastructures. A governance and financial model together with the roles of the stakeholders, including commercial service providers and downstream business sectors, that will ensure a European Open Science Cloud can innovate, grow and be sustained beyond the current project cycles is described.

Instrumentation Challenges for Future Colliders
Dr. Marcel Demarteau - Argonne National Laboratory, USA


Marcel Demarteau’s primary research interests have been in the area of collider physics with special emphasis on the measurement of precision electroweak processes. He has worked at the electron-positron storage ring PETRA, at the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider at Fermilab and at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. He most recently has been engaged in the International Linear Collider, a priority future project for particle physics worldwide, complementing the Large Hadron Collider program in understanding the recent Higgs particle discovery and other new phenomena at the TeV energy scale.

Marcel Demarteau currently leads the High Energy Physics Division at Argonne National Laboratory. The research portfolio of the division includes the ATLAS experiment at the LHC and the g-2 and Mu2e experiments at Fermilab. The physics of the early universe is explored through participation in the South Pole Telescope experiment that studies the cosmic microwave background radiation. The division is also involved in the NOVA experiment at Fermilab to study the neutrino mixing matrix and CP violation in the neutrino sector. The division is engaged in creating a strong detector program building on the unique capabilities at a multi-disciplinary laboratory.

Dr. Demarteau has served on many noteworthy science committees. He was member of the 2013 Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel that developed an updated strategic plan for particle physics in the United States that can be executed over a ten-year timescale, in the context of a twenty-year global vision. He also serves on the advisory committee for the Large Hadron Collider (LHCC) at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, the Physics Advisory Committee for the BELLE-II upgrade project at KEK, Tsukuba, Japan, and the Advisory Board of the Department of Particle Physics at Oxford University. He also serves as chair of the Electron Ion Collider Detector Advisory Committee at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He was co-convener for Instrumentation of the 2013 particle physics Community Summer Study (Snowmass) and member of the Advisory Committee for the PNNL Ultra-Sensitive Nuclear Measurements Initiative.

Prior to joining Argonne National Laboratory, Dr. Demarteau was with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where he was a member of the Dzero experiment and later of the CMS experiment. He was co-leader of the silicon detector upgrades for the Dzero experiment. In 2001 Dr. Demarteau was appointed to lead the Silicon Detector Center at Fermilab, a position he held for five years. In 2001 he accepted a position as adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Amsterdam and has been advisor to graduate students working on electroweak physics topics with the Dzero experiment. In 2006 Dr. Demarteau started an advanced detector research and development group at Fermilab for the International Linear Collider. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam in 1986.


The field of particle physics is exploring different options for a new collider to follow the Large Hadron Collider, currently operating at CERN. Linear and circular electron-positron colliders have been proposed as next machines, as well as proton-proton and electron-proton colliders running at various center of mass energies. These next generation machines create tremendous challenges for the detectors, their data acquisition systems and analysis frameworks. The stringent requirements arise from the technical aspects of the experimental environment as well as from the physics requirements. An overview will be given of these instrumentation challenges for the various experimental domains and a path to adequately address these issues will be indicated.

nss student awards

first award (oral presentation)

Farah Fahim, PPD/EED, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, USA
N49-7: Edgeless Digital Tier of the 3D Development for the Vertically Integrated Photon Imaging Chip – Large (VIPIC-L)

second award (poster presentation)

Emilie Gaudin, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
N6-21: Dual Threshold Time-over-Threshold Nonlinearity Correction for PET Imaging

third award (oral presentation)

Clotilde Canot, IRFU/SPP, CEA Saclay, France
N61-5: Development of the Fast and Efficient Gamma Detector Using Cherenkov Light

fourth award (poster presentation)

Giovanni Ludovico Montagnani, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, and INFN Milano, Italia
N30-12: Mapping Tool for Investigation of Component-Level PCB Compatibility in Multimodal MRI/SPECT