Lessons learned: CDF and DZero share tips with CMS
Attendees from the U.S. CMS Run Plan Workshop
Automate systems in the control room. Keep detector documentation updated. Use access time wisely.
CDF and DZero experimenters shared recommendations such as these with CMS collaboration members at last month's U.S. CMS Run Plan Workshop.
CDF's Camille Ginsburg and DZero's Bill Lee recalled both the successes and the pitfalls during the detectors' commissioning periods many years ago. Advice from experienced veterans came highly regarded for an experiment like CMS, currently going through its own cumbersome commissioning phase at the LHC.
Ginsburg recalled the commissioning of CDF's silicon system as one of the most difficult tasks due to its complexity, proximity to the beam and last-minute installation into the full detector. Because of CMS' own complicated silicon system, it may face similar challenges. "If we had to do it again, a stand-alone test would have been better," Ginsburg said.
Ginsburg also stressed the importance of keeping detector documentation updated. "Detector expertise vanishes quickly once you move from construction to operation," she said. "You really want to document things before they drift away."
To help make the best use of the shift crew's time, both experiments recommended installing cameras in the collision hall. During operations, shift crews have very few opportunities to access the detector. Cameras allow shifters, not to mention visitors, to see specific components during a run.
In the DZero control room, audible alerts have served well for getting the attention of shift crews, particularly in the middle of the night. Only use the audible alarms for critical alerts, Lee warned. "If it makes too much noise, people will just turn down the volume," he said.
Looking for opportunities to automate systems in the control room also will help crews make the most out of their shifts and decrease potential mistakes. "Use time wisely," said Lee. "Even when a system is broken, take a special run to gain information on other parts of the detector."
-- Elizabeth Clements
Read tomorrow's Fermilab Today for another lessons learned article.