Development of High Voltage Electronics for the PINGU Expansion to the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

Open Access
Quinnan, Melissa Kathryn
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Douglas Cowen, Thesis Supervisor
  • Prof. Richard Wallace Robinett, Honors Advisor
  • IceCube
  • neutrinos
  • physics
  • electronics
  • fpga
The Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade is a proposed expansion to the IceCube Neutrino Observatory that will enable detection of low energy neutrinos (5-15~GeV) in pursuit of the Neutrino Mass Hierarchy and other physics goals. This requires modified detector module (DOM) electronics. This paper is a summary of studies of electronics upgrades with the purpose of improving high voltage performance, triggering capabilities, noise reduction, and dynamic range in order to more efficiently detect low energy events. High Voltage Divider and Supply boards were built and characterized for performance in terms of Single Photoelectron signal performance and gain. The DOM electronics set-up, including photomultiplier tube (PMT), HVD and HVS, and DDC2/SoCKit trigger and readout electronics was tested in a blackbox setup and high voltage temperature dependence was investigated. Furthermore, modified trigger schemes were considered for the FPGA in order to improve triggering of SPEs in firmware. A SOT (Signal Over Threshold) module modification that involved a second trigger requirement based on consecutive samples over a given threshold was designed, implemented, and tested. Finally, an alternate trigger modification scheme using FIR or IIR filters was investigated through some preliminary simulations of how such filters would impact data in firmware. Results and future development of these studies are discussed.