SPD Collaboration Meeting: results and plans

News, 03 October 2022

Today, on 3 October, the 3rd meeting of the Collaboration of the SPD experiment at the NICA complex began at VBLHEP. The event is being held in a hybrid format for the first time, before that meetings were held online. Participants are discussing the current status of the project, the physical programme and technical solutions of the experiment, organizational issues of Collaboration.

JINR Vice-Director NICA Project Leader Vladimir Kekelidze greeted participants of the meeting. He spoke about the key results of the megascience project achieved since the last SPD meeting in December last year. The longest commissioning run to date was successfully carried out, during which specialists achieved stable simultaneous operation of all three main accelerators of the complex. Vladimir Kekelidze also said that the overall readiness of the project had already reached about 85%. The BM@N facility is ready for data collection during the newly started commissioning cycle at NICA. Vladimir Kekelidze, on behalf of the Directorate, assured Collaboration participants that the Institute leadership was making every effort to overcome logistical difficulties caused by external factors.

On the first day of the meeting, Co-Head of the SPD Project Alexey Guskov and Chairman of the Collaboration Council Egle Tomasi-Gustafson (Saclay Nuclear Research Centre) reported on the current progress of the project and Collaboration.

At the meeting of the JINR Programme Advisory Committee on Particle Physics in January 2022, the International Advisory Committee of the SPD Detector presented a report on the independent examination of the SPD conceptual project. Based on the report results, the Programme Advisory Committee approved the SPD conceptual project. The technical design of the experiment will be presented at the winter meeting of the PAC on Particle Physics.

A memorandum of understanding was signed with five scientific centres: St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics, the A. I. Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory, the Institute for Nuclear Research (INR) of RAS in Troitsk, Samara State University, the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Moscow State University. Preparations are underway to sign a memorandum with two more organizations. At the moment, the SPD Collaboration unites more than 300 representatives of 32 institutions from 14 countries. The Collaboration is going to further increase the number of participants.

It should be reminded that two heads of the SPD Collaboration were elected in March this year. They were Alexey Guskov, Head of DLNP JINR Department, and Viсtor Kim, Deputy Head of the Department of High Energy Physics of PNPI of NRC “Kurchatov Institute”.

The meeting will last until 6 October. Participants will discuss the development of detector systems, electronics, and data collection systems. There will be reports on the SPD physical programme and the experiment software.