The 16th IEEE NPSS Real Time Conference (RTC) was held at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of Beijing, China, from May 10th to May 15th 2009. This is the first NPSS conference to be held in this country. The conference was chaired by Professor Yifang Wang, associate director of the Institute. Professor Yantai Shu, from the nearby Tianjin University was the co-chair of the conference, while Professor Zhen’An Liu, from IHEP, was the local chair. There were 188 registered participants, which is close to the maximum number manageable for a 5-day conference without parallel sessions, which is the Real Time Conferences tradition. More than one third of the participants came from China. As expected, there was a large representation from the four major CERN experiments, reflecting the exceptional activity associated with the startup of the LHC.
The first day of the conference was devoted to a workshop and a short course. The workshop, lasting all day, was an introduction to the ATCA standard (Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture) and how it could be adapted to the needs of large physics infrastructures and experiments. This ATCA standard from the telecom industry has been designed for both for high performance and “high availability,” meaning high-speed serial links, redundancy, built-in failure detection, and hot swap features for low down time. The workshop was organized by Ray Larsen, from SLAC, and Zhen’An Liu, from IHEP Beijing. The presentations were by various speakers from the telecom industry, as well as scientists from the physics community sharing their experience with ATCA compatible modules as part of their DAQ system. The topic for the half day short course was how to use FPGA’s in real time data front-end processing. It was organized by Stefan Ritt, from PSI Zurich, and presented jointly by Marc André Tétrault, from “Université de Sherbrooke” and Jin-Yuan Wu, from Fermilab.
The traditional highlight of the Real Time conference is the presentation of the CANPS award. This award is given in recognition of someone who has made a significant contribution to the fields of interest represented by CANPS. This year, the CANPS prize was presented to a prestigious scientist in the field of data acquisition: Sergio Cittolin, for outstanding
vision and achievements in trigger and DAQ architectures for Physics experiments over the last 30 years. Sergio Cittolin has been a CERN applied physicist for the last 40 years. He was responsible for many experiments as the trigger and Data Acquisition team leader (PS, ISR), UA1 and now as project manager of the CMS LHC experiment. He was responsible for major contributions in the days of CAMAC, introduced the VME standard in large physics experiments (UA1), and his vision of Trigger/DAQ architectures and event building schemes has now been accepted in most of the modern large physics experiments.
There were also 4 awards presented for “outstanding student poster or oral papers.” The two best papers receive both a cash award and a certificate from IEEE. The runners up receive a certificate. The committee evaluating the papers was composed of Christian Bohm, from the Alba Nova University, Stockholm, Réjean Fontaine, from Université de Sherbrooke, Canada Michael Levine, from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Yantai Shu, from the University of Tianjin, China.
The first award was granted to André Neto, from EURATOM-IST, Lisbon, Portugal for a paper entitled: “MARTe: a Multi-Platform Real-Time Framework.”
The second award went to Lei Zhao, from the Key Laboratory of Technologies of Particle Detection & Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei City, Anhui Province, China, and Modern Physics Department, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui Province, China, for a paper entitled:
“The Design and Initial Testing of the Beam Phase and Energy Test System for DTL in the Proton Accelerator of CSNS.”
The third prize was presented to Quan Sun, from DRS, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert-Curien, Strasbourg, France, and School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, P. R. China, for a paper entitled: “A Serial Link Transmitter in MAPS.”
The fourth prize was given to Louis Arpin, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, and Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology, Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada for a paper entitled: “Nanosecond Edge Detection System Using Embedded FPGA Fabrics.”
As usual, the CANPS committee met to discuss the organization of the next RT conference. Normally, the Real Time Conference is held every other year, in the spring of odd numbered years. For various reasons, it was decided to change to even numbered years. So the next Real Time Conference will be in 2010, rather than 2011. It will be in Lisboa, Portugal, May 24 to May 28, and will be chaired by Carlos Varandas, from the Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear (IPFN). The Conference will be organized jointly by (IPFN) and the “Laboratório de Instrumentação e Partículas” (LIP).
Jean-Pierre Martin, chair of the Computer Applications in Nuclear and Plasma Science Technical Committee, can be reached at the University of Montreal, RJA Lévesque Laboratory, Montreal (QC), Canada H3C 3J7. Phone: +1 514 343 7340; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.