Controls Electronics and Mechatronics (CEM)

The CEM Group develops and maintains a centralized competence in controls hardware and low-level software, electronics design, production and radiation tolerance, mechatronics and robotics, test and measurement systems.

It is in charge of the specification, procurement, integration tests, operational installation and support of the accelerator embedded systems in VMEbus, cPCI, PXIe and PICMG1.3 form factors, distributed across the complete CERN Accelerator chain. It is also responsible for the deployment and operational support of the MIL-1553, WorldFIP, General Machine Timing (GMT) and White Rabbit field buses used for long-distance and sometimes radiation-tolerant control of systems such as the LHC power converters, the LHC quench protection system, the LHC cryogenics system and the control of the injector complex power converters. The CEM group is also responsible for the development, production and support of most of the generic custom controls electronic modules. It also provides know-how for the technical choice of commercial modules to suit the needs of equipment groups in the Accelerator Sector. Both the custom developments and the selected off-the-shelf modules make up the group standard hardware kit, for which it provides full support. This includes low-level software, i.e. Linux device drivers, C/C++ libraries and associated test programs.

The group provides centralized services for CERN’s electronics community including layout design, prototype board assembly, industrialization and production of electronic circuit boards and modules. It offers a service of rework and modification operations, as well as the recovery of high-value or rare parts. It is also able to support customers who require failure analysis related to assembly or manufacturing issues. The group closely collaborates with the EP department for the assembly of large Micro-Pattern Gas Detectors (MPGDs) like Gas Electron Multipliers (GEMs).

CEM supports the equipment groups in the radiation tests of the commercial off-the-shelf electronic components for radiation-tolerant design of accelerator control systems. It coordinates the CERN High Energy Accelerator Mixed field facility (CHARM) and the CC60 facility for radiation tests of electronic components and systems within the Radiation to Electronics (R2E) framework. Additionally, the group is in charge of the on-line monitoring of radiation effects on the electronic equipment located in radioactive areas in the accelerators and the experiments. For repairs of irradiated electronics, the group operates a dedicated workshop in a specially equipped controlled area in building 867 on CERN’s Prévessin site.

The CEM group is involved in the design and is responsible for the operation of the mechatronics of the LHC collimators and all other beam-intercepting devices (BIDs) of the CERN accelerators and experimental lines. It designs remote control systems to ensure the positioning of the collimators, targets and massive dumps with accuracies down to the micrometre level. Specific issues related to hazardous areas often require the development of custom solutions. CEM supports the n_TOF Data Acquisition System and the UA9 crystal experiment in the SPS.

The group develops robotic solutions adapted to interventions of remote inspections and tele-manipulation in radioactive areas in the accelerator environment, and deploys those solutions in collaboration with all groups in the Accelerator and Technology sector.

CEM also develops and provides CERN-wide support for all test & measurement systems based on a selected set of commercial off-the-shelf products. The group provides support for the automation of the LHC magnets powering tests during the hardware commissioning, and maintains the integration of LabVIEW in the accelerator infrastructure.

For further information, please consult the presentation of the BE-CEM group.