The DZero RunIIb upgrade
This column is written by Vivian O'Dell, project manager for the DZero RunIIb upgrades.
After years of hard work, the DZero RunIIb upgrade has passed its final milestone,
called "CD-4" in politico-speak. For a project to meet this CD-4 milestone, a completion report has to be written, and I had the pleasure of writing this report
over the last few weeks. I am pleased to say that the upgrade finished on schedule and under budget. This means that as project manager of the upgrade, I can dust off my hands and declare victory. In fact, my future career goals involve never again uttering the acronyms EV, ACWP or
My favorite section of the report was the section on "lessons learned" during
the project. It is really useful to sit back and go through all my notes
on what worked and what didn't and then encode them for a more general
dissemination. For example, the phrase "the project benefited from including value engineering" translated to "we realized that we would never get a particular board design
to work in the experiment so we scrapped it and started over."
Another coded lesson learned was, "the project benefited from being
flexible in operational needs." Translation: "If the
largest part of the upgrade is suddenly canceled, how can we possibly keep our current detector competitive?"
(The answer to this question was the layer 0 upgrade.)
Another part of installing the upgrade required us to physically remove
the old calorimeter trigger, and replace it with a much better trigger, able to operate in high luminosity. Had the upgrade installation failed, we could have not only failed to improve the detector, but we could have crippled it so severely that it would have become the world's largest paperweight.
But installing the upgrade went amazingly smoothly. The ability of our detector to track precisely
where particles go has improved in some cases by more than 50 percent, which
will show up in our data analyses that look for the decay of
One thing I wish I could have said in the "lessons learned" section of the
completion report, but at least I can say it here, is that when you work with world experts in detectors, electronics and physics, all you have to do is give them the tools they need and get out of their way. They will
solve problems that you thought were unsolvable.
So while my obligation to funky acronyms is a done deal, the upgraded DZero detector will collect high quality data for years to come.