STAR's Endcap TOF: installation of a prototype

In the week of October 17 two members of the Rice group, Geary Eppley and David Tlusty traveled to BNL to work with our colleagues from CBM (Ingo Deppner and Norbert Herrmann, both from Heidelberg) and with assistance from the local STAR STSG crew to install a prototype Endcap Time-of-Flight detector (eTOF). Our CBM colleagues brought two 32-strip Multigap Resistive Plate Chamber (MRPC) to BNL. Both detectors are mounted such that they completely overlap and thus provide signal redundancy for the upcoming tests that are planned during the RHIC Run-17 beam. This week was used to hook up gas connections as well as the low-voltage, high-voltage systems such that a basic in-situ module check could be performed.

In January next year, shortly before the cooling of the RHIC accelerator, the team will further integrate the eTOF system with STAR's trigger and DAQ systems, as well as connect the clock feed to the common TOF clock that is used for the Barrel TOF and MTD systems.

These eTOF test will provide very relevant data on the its operation inside STAR's environment during actual beam collisions. The final eTOF detector will involve 36 CBM TOF modules and be an essential upgrade for STAR towards the BES phase-2 program (scheduled for 2019-2020). It will extend STAR's particle identification (PID) capabilities to higher momentum in the forward pseudorapidity range provided by the iTPC upgrade. Furthermore, the upgrade will enable a fixed-target program which extends the energy scan to much lower center-of-momentum energies.