NA62 is a K meson physics experiment based on a decay-in-flight technique and whose Trigger and Data Acquisition system (TDAQ) is multi-level and network based. A reorganization of both the beam line and the detector is foreseen in the next years to complete and extend the physics reach of NA62. One of the challenging aspects of this upgrade is a significant increase (x4) in the event rate which requires a deep revision of the TDAQ system. This revision includes technological and functional aspects.
The first initiative of the program consists in the upgrade of the hardware trigger processor (L0TP) with a recent platform that offers larger local memory, more computing power and higher transmission bandwidth (L0TP+). The second action is to increase physics selectivity of the trigger processor using different kinds of online processing, both at front-end and concentrator levels, adopting classical and AI approaches for algorithms design.
L0TP+ is implemented on an FPGA device and is configured and controlled by means of a soft CPU core. Testing has been conducted extensively with a parasitic setup which includes network taps and a commodity server to compare trigger decisions on an event-by-event basis, thus reproducing realistic operation conditions with no impact on the experiment schedule. In view of the next data taking period, the positive experience of the parasitic mode can be reused as a development setup to explore new algorithms, test additional features, thus speeding up the TDAQ upgrade.
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