Detector Test Areas


FNAL Facilities

The Fermilab Detector R&D program revolves around a series of institutional capabilities, typically not available elsewhere. The types of facilities that contribute to detector research include: the Silicon Detector Facility, extensive experience in Cryogenic and Vacuum Engineering, a unique High Energy Test Beam Facility, and a talented staff to support them.

Fermilab Test Beam Facility

The goal of the Fermilab Test Beam Facility (FTBF) is to provide flexible, equal, and open access to test beams for all detector tests, with relatively low bureaucratic overhead and a guarantee of safety, coordination, and oversight.

The facility consists of two versatile beamlines (MTest and MCenter) in which users can test equipment or detectors with the only high energy, hadron test beam in the United States.

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High Rate Tracking Area

A new area for beam tests of high rate tracking devices is being developed.  The new area is in the MTest beam line upstream of the pinhole collimator in M03. This area will be suitable for tests of detectors with modest transverse dimensions. In this area 120 GeV protons are available with a maximum rate of 2.5 GHz/cm2.

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Irradiation Areas

There are a few areas on site which can be used for irradiating materials. Their use comes with considerable overhead. This listing of irradiation facilities is preliminary and subject to change. Detailed Information

Area Particle Energy Fluence Spot size Availability
M01 (FTBF) Proton 120 GeV 9 E12 /hour ~1 cm2 approved by MOU
SY Dump Proton 120 GeV 6 E14 /hour ~1 cm2 approved by MOU
MuCool Test Area Proton 400 MeV < 3 E14 /hour ~1 cm2 thin detectors likely to be supported
Neutron Therapy Facility Neutron ~10 MeV ~ 6 E8 /minute ~10 cm2 can be accommodated when not in use for patients
ES&H Inst Calibration gamma 0.6MeV < 2.7 E16 /hour  4 π likely to be approved
neutron ~ 5 MeV ~2 E11 /hour

Contact Erik Ramberg if you are interested in using these areas.

Minos Underground Areas

This area is an ideal shallow testing site for Dark Matter Detector R&D. It is 350feet underground, and accesible 24hrs/day, 365 days/yr, under normal circumstances, with minimal training. The area is fully supported by Fermilab staff and resources, including network cababilites and other utilities.

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Research Techniques Seminar
These seminars cover technical topics including detector R&D, construction and calibration methods, test beam results, as well as data analysis methods and simulation.


Petra Merkel
  • Petra Merkel
  • General Detector R&D Technical Coordinator
  • Office: 630.840.2119
  • email:

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Interested parties are invited to join the '' email list. This email list is used to inform parties interested in detector research at Fermilab, and elsewhere. Notices of upcoming meetings, talks, and conferences will be sent out to this list. In addition, periodic summaries of the work being done at Fermilab will be sent.

To subscribe to this list, send an email message to the address, with the following line in the body of the message:
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with your own name substituted where indicated. You should receive a notice back indicating you have joined the list, and a second notice with a brief welcome message.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Petra Merkel.