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mCBM@SIS18 - A CBM full system test-setup for high-rate nucleus-nucleus collisions at GSI/FAIR

The CBM experiment will measure relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions with unprecedented collision rates up to 10 MHz leading to data rates up to 1 TB per second by using a free-streaming data acquisition system (please, insert a link to the CBM DAQ). To achieve the required performance a full-system test-setup for CBM is presently being installed at the GSI/FAIR host lab site under the name mCBM@SIS18 (”mini-CBM”, later shortened to mCBM). The mCBM experiment has been recognized as a FAIR Phase-0 experiment and the beam time application (proposal S471) submitted on June 19th , 2017 to the General Program Advisory Committee (G-PAC) has been fully granted.

With mCBM we will test and optimize:

  • the operation of the detector prototypes in a high-rate nucleus-nucleus collision environment,
  • the free-streaming data acquisition system including the data transport to a high-performance computer farm located in the Green IT Cube,
  • the online track and event reconstruction as well as event selection algorithms,
  • the offline data analysis and
  • the detector control system

under realistic experiment conditions. The test-setup will include detector modules from all CBM detector subsystems (MVD, STS, RICH, MUCH, TRD, TOF, ECAL using (pre-)series production specimen. mCBM will be positioned downstream a solid target under a polar angle of about 20° – 25° with respect to the primary beam (see mCBM design). It does not comprise a magnetic field, and, therefore, will measure charged particles produced in nucleus-nucleus collisions traversing the detector stations following straight trajectories.

Commissioning and running mCBM in the first two years (2018 and 2019) will complete our knowledge on proper functioning as well as on the performance of the CBM detector systems and their associated Front-End Electronics (FEE) before the final series production starts. The experiences gained during the complete mCBM campaign will significantly shorten the commissioning period for the full CBM experiment at SIS100.

mCBM design

Installation site

Installation schedule

10/2017 cave & beam line: reconstruction started, procurement started
12/2017 mDAQ test stand @ Heidelberg operational
12/2017 beam dump mounted
03/2018 cave reconstruction completed
04/2018 mFLES cluster @ Green IT Cube installed
05/2018 beam line installed and commissioned
05/2018 installation of detector stations
06/2018 start commissioning w/o beam
08/2018 start commissioning with beam


Cave entrance (2017/12/06)
Last Fe plate delivered for the beam dump (2017/12/13)
Beam dump prepared for pouring concrete (2017/12/14)
Cave entrance (2017/12/20)
View on the switching magnet (through the shielding wall to NE8) (2017/12/20)
mCBM cave, top view (2017/12/20)

FLUKA calculations for mCBM:

  • radiation environment
  • activation
  • particle rate in the detectors


    Christian Sturm

    Project leader

    Office: GSI KBW 4.030
    Phone: +49-6159-71-2661
    Email: C.Sturm(at)gsi.de

    (c) 2021 FAIR
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