FPGA-based trigger system for the Fermilab SeaQuest experimentz

Shiuan Hal Shiu, Jinyuan Wu, Randall Evan McClellan, Ting Hua Chang, Wen Chen Chang, Yen Chu Chen, Ron Gilman, Kenichi Nakano, Jen Chieh Peng, Su Yin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The SeaQuest experiment (Fermilab E906) detects pairs of energetic μ+ and μ- produced in 120 GeV/c proton-nucleon interactions in a high rate environment. The trigger system consists of several arrays of scintillator hodoscopes and a set of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) based VMEbus modules. Signals from up to 96 channels of hodoscope are digitized by each FPGA with a 1-ns resolution using the time-to-digital convertor (TDC) firmware. The delay of the TDC output can be adjusted channel-by-channel in 1-ns step and then re-aligned with the beam RF clock. The hit pattern on the hodoscope planes is then examined against pre-determined trigger matrices to identify candidate muon tracks. Information on the candidate tracks is sent to the 2nd-level FPGA-based track correlator to find candidate di-muon events. The design and implementation of the FPGA-based trigger system for SeaQuest experiment are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • FPGA firmware
  • Muon pairs
  • TDC
  • Trigger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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