Project duration: 01.07.2006 – 31.12.2025


The Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment KATRIN aims to measure the mass of the electron neutrino, the lightest of all elementary particles. The experimental setup is complex and consists out of a 70 meter long beamline, the world-largest spectrometer and finally a segmented silicon detector. The KATRIN task “DAQ and Databases” is responsible to build up the complete data acquisition system including detector readout, various monitoring systems and the required computing and data infrastructure.

Key technologies developed in KATRIN are:

  • Framework for flexible „slow control“ systems
    For automation tasks PC-based measurement and control systems combined with flexible programming in LabView are used. Standard interfaces like OPC, web services and SQL databases provide an easy integration in data acquisition and data management systems. The system has been used to implement various monitoring instruments.
  • Fast data acquisition for pixelated detectors
    The multi-channel IPE-DAQ electronics is used to readout the KATRIN main detector. The flexible and programmable, FPGA-based system is integrated in the graphical Object-oriented Real-time Control and Acquisition system ORCA.
  • Data management for international scientific collaborations
    The Advanced Data Extraction Infrastructure ADEI has been designed to provide an easy, referencable, world-wide access to the complete data of an experiment. ADEI combines uniform access by its programming interface and web data portal to international collaborations. It is modular to integrate data from very different sources. Currently several Gigabytes of data are recorded every day, that sum up to Terabytes of slow control data managed by ADEI.
  • Computing and data infrastructure
  • Complex experimental setups require a reliable and powerful computing infrastructure to ensure data acquisition, storage and fast access to the data. The KATRIN infrastructure uses a redundant LAN ring, a hierarchical storage system. Virtualization and cloud services are used to optimize flexibility and minimize maintenance efforts.


  • Low-latency Big Data Visualisation - Tan Jerome, Nicholas PhD thesis, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 2019. Abstract Exploring large and complex data sets is a crucial factor in a digital library framework. To find a specific data set within a large repository, visualisation can help to validate the content apart from the textual description. However,… ...
  • Focal-plane detector system for the KATRIN experiment - Amsbaugh, J.F. et al. in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment Volume 778, 1 April 2015, Pages 40-60 Abstract The focal-plane detector system for the KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment consists of a multi-pixel silicon p-i-n-diode array, custom readout electronics, two superconducting solenoid magnets, an ultra… ...
  • Characterization of an FPGA-based DAQ system in the KATRIN experiment - Phillips, D.G et al. in IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record 2010, Article number 5874002, Pages 1399-1403 Abstract This article will describe the procedures used to validate and characterize the combined hardware and software DAQ system of the KATRIN experiment. The Mk4 DAQ Electronics is the latest version in a series of field programmable gate… ...
  • Advanced data extraction infrastructure: Web based system for management of time series data - Chilingaryan, S., et al. in Journal of Physics: Conference Series. Vol. 219. No. 4. IOP Publishing, 2010. Abstract During operation of high energy physics experiments a big amount of slow control data is recorded. It is necessary to examine all collected data checking the integrity and validity of measurements. With growing maturity of AJAX technologies… ...



  • J. Wilkerson
    Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of North Carolina, USA
  • A. Kopmann, S. Chilingaryan
    Institut for Data Processing and Electronics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • J. Behrens, F. Florian
    Institut for Nuclear Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


Andreas Kopmann
P: +49 721 608-24910