Self-triggering readout system for the neutron lifetime experiment PENeLOPE

D. Gaisbauer, Y. Bai, I. Konorov, S. Paul, D. Steffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


PENeLOPE is a neutron lifetime measurement developed at the Technische Universität München and located at the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) aiming to achieve a precision of 0.1 seconds. The detector for PENeLOPE consists of about 1250 Avalanche Photodiodes (APDs) with a total active area of 1225 cm2. The decay proton detector and electronics will be operated at a high electrostatic potential of -30 kV and a magnetic field of 0.6 T. This includes shaper, preamplifier, ADC and FPGA cards. In addition, the APDs will be cooled to 77 K. The 1250 APDs are divided into 14 groups of 96 channels, including spares. A 12-bit ADC digitizes the detector signals with 1 MSps. A firmware was developed for the detector including a self-triggering readout with continuous pedestal calculation and configurable signal detection. The data transmission and configuration is done via the Switched Enabling Protocol (SEP). It is a time-division multiplexing low layer protocol which provides determined latency for time critical messages, IPBus, and JTAG interfaces. The network has a n:1 topology, reducing the number of optical links.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberC02068
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryogenic detectors
  • Detector control systems (detector and experiment monitoring and slow-control systems, architecture, hardware, algorithms, databases)
  • Front-end electronics for detector readout
  • Photon detectors for UV, visible and IR photons (solid-state) (PIN diodes, APDs, Si-PMTs, G-APDs, CCDs, EBCCDs, EMCCDs etc)


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