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Detector Technology and Systems

Portfolio Detectors

The "Detector Technology and Systems Platform" is an initiative of the centers and institutes of the Helmholtz research field "Matter". The initiative will provide access to the latest detector technologies and cutting-edge detectors for all research fields in the Helmholtz association and connected universities as well as international partners. It will be continued within the research field “Matter” as program topic "Detector Technology and Systems”  in the next funding period.

Ultrasound Computer Tomography (USCT)

Ultrasound Computer Tomography (USCT)

In this project a new imaging methodology for early breast cancer detection is developed. It promises three dimensional images of the breast with high spatial resolution. Our aim is the detection of tumors with an average diameter of less than 5 mm to improve the survival probability of the patients.

The development of hardware and methods for USCT is a significant challenge. The USCT method is based on thousands of small ultrasound transducers, which are mounted in a water filled examination reservoir. For each image of the breast a large amout of raw data is acquired, which is subsequently applied for reconstruction of different 3D volumes. More information



Tbit/s Optical Data Transmission in particle physics and photon science

IPE develops a high-speed and energy-efficient optical data transmission system tailored for future detectors. Within this system, electrical input signals are converted into optical output signals by the use of silicon-based electro-optic chips developed at KIT. Researchers at IPE focus on the investigation of electrical and optical packaging, of modulator design, operability and reliability at low temperatures and strong magnetic fields, and optical link aggregation. Further information   


KATRIN Detektorsystem
KATRIN - Detector system

KATRIN - KArlsruher TRitium Neutrino Experiment

The KATRIN experiment will intended to measure the mass of the electron neutrino particle to a yet unequalled accuracy. KATRIN will therefore be the most sensitive weighing machine in the world. IPE is deeply involved in almost any electronics system of KATRIN and is responsible for a number of tasks in the domains of control technology, data acquisition, detector design, but also in a superordinate level for the coordination of interfaces between the control systems of KATRIN sub-units.


AUGER Observatory

Pierre AUGER Observatory - Detection of Cosmic Radiation

The international Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina is built to detect cosmic rays at

highest energy. The major contribution of IPE to the Observatory was the development,

production and installation of the digital electronics for the fluorescence telescopes.

This includes the development of a multi-level trigger system, its integration in the data

acquisition, the installation of the LAN infrastructure and more. Further information


EDELWEISS - Underground laboratory Modane (Fréjus-Tunnel)


The EDELWEISS-  experiment is trying to unravel the biggest mystery of the universe by the direct detection of Dark Matter. The collaboration of 11 institutes in 4 countries is operating in the underground laboratory LSM (at Modane) several Germanium bolometers, which would detect a characteristic ionization and a heat signal on a collision of a potential Dark Matter particle with a Germanium nucleus. The currently running stage of the experiment (EDELWEISS-III) operates with 40 so-called FID800 detectors. 

IPE has developed in collaboration with IKP the electronics for the data acquisition of EDELWEISS, which integrates also modules of the veto counters for the recognition and suppression of background events. The bolometer signals are digitized at a sampling rate of 100 kHz and the continuous data stream is analyzed and stored by several computers. Actual developments focus on an improved time resolution by a digitization at 40 MHz and on the EURECA -project, which is supposed to improve the sensitivity by 2orders of magnitudes by a significantly higher number of bolometers (about 1000).



Compact-Muon-Solenoid (CMS)

Together with the german electron-synchrotron (DESY) and other partners, the IPE develops electronic circuits for physical detector systems for the large-scale experiment Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) at CERN. There, the structure of matter is investigated by the use of high-energy particles. The detection of the high number of different particles puts special requirements on the so-called pixel detector in the innermost of the CMS. With the help of an array of 10 million cells measuring 100 µm x 150 µm each, the particle traces can be observed. Researchers at the IPE work on suitable packaging technologies in order to connect the pixel cells with the data processing system. Further Information


Prototyp einer High-Speed-Kamera

UFO -Ultrafast X-ray imaging

Progress in recent years concerning X-ray optics, detector technology, and the tremendous increase of processing speed of commodity computational architectures gives rise to a paradigm shift in synchrotron X-ray imaging. UFO aims to enable a new type of smart experiment using the vast computational power of massively parallel computation units: On-line assessment of sample dynamics will enable active image-based control, allow an unprecedented image quality, and will provide insight into so far inaccessible scientific processes. Further information.



Battery Management System (BMS)

Electric vehicles (EV) require high-capacity and reliable battery systems. The heart of the vehicle batteries is the battery management system (BMS). It controls and monitors the different battery cells that form the battery stack and is responsible for the safe operation and long lifetime. At the IPE, we develop BMS for varous kinds of battery technologies and requirements. Our work builds upon the SMD/ hybrid assembly laboratory and workshops as well as our cooperation with the competence centre for electrical energy storage CompetenceE.







The project ProPower is funded within the IKT2020 initiative of the german ministry for education and research (BMBF). The scope of this project is to provide novel packaging technologies for compact power electronic modules with high power density for application in electric vehicles (EV), drives and lighting systems. The collaborative project is supported by the public with a budget of 16 M€ and runs for three years starting in January 2012. Siemens AG is the project lead while the IPE supports by investigating novel copper paste systems for thick-film structures, silver sinter processes for die attach and copper wire bonds. Researchers at the IPE built-up power cycling test rigs and conducted various series of tests.

The final event of ProPower took place in Berlin on 03/17/2015.



Liccy Hardware

Battery Cells Cycling Unit and Formation Charger (LICCY)

In the process of battery research at KIT, the institute IPE developed the battery cells cycling unit LICCY (Lithium cell cycler) which is able to cycle and test 32 cells simultaneously. This equipment is optimized for cycling lithium ion cells. The following operation mode can be applied with LICCY: cycling, constant current charging anddischarging (CC), constant voltage charging and discharging (CV) and measuring of the charge retention. Based on LICCY a formation charger with 96 channels was set up. In KIT Campus North 16 LICCY units and one formation charger are in continous use at different institutes.





High power LED modules

Many industrial processes today are based on the purposeful use of light. At IPE researchers develop high power density light engines usable for lacquer curing in printing machines, for instance. For this purpose many high-power LED chips are mounted tightly together into modules which are efficiently cooled by special water cooling blocks. The main challenges include a thermal path with very low resistances between the LED junction and the cooling water as well as a reliable electrical and mechanical connection between the components. Further information



LSDMA - Large Scale Data Management and Analysis

“Large Scale Data Management and Analysis” (LSDMA) is a portfolio extension of the Helmholtz Association complementing federated research data infrastructures with joint research and development in close collaboration with the scientific communities. It aims to provide data life cycle optimization, data intensive computing & analysis and data management services. Further information


DARIAH - Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities

DARIAH  (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanitites) is an ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap project for the art and humanities and based on national contributions. IPE is part of the German contribution DARIAH-DE and responsible for the Bit Preservation. Further Information



Algorithms for Automatic Tagging of Medieval Manuscripts - is a joint research project of the University of Darmstadt, the University of Trier, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the State and Public Library of Trier.The project uses a pool of about 500 medieval manuscripts from the Benedictene abbey St. Matthias in Trier. These manuscripts are digitized and enriched with bibliographical meta data. Further Information


KIT cube
KITcube - a mobile observation platform


The KITcube is an overall monitoring system that consists of different instruments to probe the atmosphere. It can survey an atmospheric volume of about 10 km side length with different methods and thus allows the temporally and spatially complete capturing of all relevant processes. The KITcube is characterized by high operational flexibility. It can be operated as mobile device at arbitrary measuring locations as well as in continuous operation for atmospheric monitoring. Further Informations



MIPAS – Measurement of Trace Gases in the Stratosphere


For the MIPAS climate experiment conducted by the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, IPE develops complex control and data acquisition systems. The MIPAS instrument measures the weak infrared radiation of trace gases in the stratosphere. These trace gases are considered precursory substances of ozone formation, for instance.


CARIBIC – Ozone Photometer

On behalf of the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research – Atmospheric Trace Gas and Remote Sounding Division, the electronics and data acquisition were developed and fabricated for an ozone photometer. The ozone photometer serves to measure ozone on a Lufthansa passenger aircraft under the CARIBIC project. The measurement principle is based on the absorption of UV radiation by ozone.