Development and test of large Micro Pattern Gas Detectors (micromegas) to measure with high resolution the tracks of charged particles in high energy experiments in presence of high flux of particles.
The members of this research project have a large experience in the construction and in the studies of the performance of high energy particle detectors. They are members of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC (the CERN Large Hadron Collider) and in the last years they joined the upgrade project of the two New Small Wheels, the new forward detectors of the experiment, where 128 large (2-4 m2) micromegas chambers have been considered to measure the position of the muons in presence of high fluxes of particles both from the proton-proton interactions and from the background. With other Italian colleagues they are now contributing to the construction of 32 large micromegas chambers.
The first tests of these large detectors presented some new and unexpected issues that are now under investigation. These arise from the cleanliness of the printed boards and of the meshes used and and from difficulties to meet the mechanical requirements on the components. All these determine severe high voltage instabilities that not allow at moment a safe use of these detectors in long term experiment as ATLAS at LHC. The members of the project aim to contribute to the research and development studies to recover these problems with test in laboratory and testing the detectors in a cosmic ray setup or at beams.
At the same time they will continue to contribute to the preparation of the chambers and of the software to analyze the signals from the micromegas when running in the ATLAS experiment.