Development of the ATLAS control room

15 December 2006 | By

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First ATLAS integration run from the main ATLAS control room (Image: Claudia Marcelloni/ATLAS Experiment)

The ATLAS control room will become the brain of the detector operations. At the moment six of the final fifteen stations are already in place. Each station has four monitors, working together as one virtual screen. In addition, important information is visualized on a big wall screen using a projector. At present the control room has one projector in service but is planning to increase that number to 8-9 in the final setup. All this will create quite a pleasant and comfortable working environment.

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View of the control room. (Image: Claudia Marcelloni/ATLAS Experiment)

Final design and prototyping of the control room hardware started at the beginning of 2006. After successful tests the first two stations were installed and are running. The development of the control room interface software (the so-called Control Room Desktop) with all the applications that will constitute the runtime environment has been progressing well. Visiting the ATLAS control room, one thing you will notice is the absence of computers. This reduces significantly the noise level of the room. All the computers are located in a computer room about 100m away.

One of the important upcoming milestones will be the combined cosmic rays run monitored from the control room with the participation of the liquid argon and tile calorimeters, trigger, and data acquisition systems. This exercise will reveal the hardware and software readiness, but will also be the first combined operation of several groups from the ATLAS control room. Such a rehearsal will give important experience in the process of development of the operational model. Next year the control room will regularly host this type of operational exercises with an increasing number of participating systems.