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Monica Dunford | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

The Sixth Milestone

Another ‘Milestone week’ is here. As with the previous ‘Milestone week’ the purpose is to run as many subsystems of ATLAS together, all taking cosmic ray data. In the usual day-to-day routine most subsystems do their commissioning independently. It is a special event to combine multiple subsystems and a milestone to combine them all.

This week is the 6th and supposedly final ‘M’ week. Or M6. Some people say it is the final M-week probably because there is as of today no M7 scheduled. But in the fine tradition of schedule-making, the end of the Milestone weeks probably just means moving to a new letter. ‘N’ being the next logical choice in this case.
But the M-weeks are fun (as well as frustrating and exhausting). The control room is a hub of activity. The air is simultaneously filled with tension and excitement. With each M-week, the goal has been to add in more and more subsystems. For M6, we have all but the pixels. So written out in full acronym glory, this is

MDT, RPC, TGC, LAr, Tile, L1Calo, SCT, TRT, CTP, HLT, DAQ, DCS, Tier0, DQ, Offline

This can be generally translated as ‘no available chairs in the control room’.

With five M-weeks behind us, it seems the subsystems have finally started to play nice. In the past, one of the most time-consuming things was simply to combine the data acquisition systems for each subsystem. So far the combination of multiple systems has been very straightforward and rather painless.

But then again I shouldn’t speak so soon. It is after all only tuesday.

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