The single-phase liquid argon prototype detector at CERN (ProtoDUNE-SP) is a crucial milestone for the DUNE experiment that will inform the construction and operation of the first and possibly subsequent 10-kt DUNE far detector modules. The ProtoDUNE-SP detector will be run in a dedicated beam line at the CERN SPS accelerator complex.
ProtoDUNE-SP received a formal CERN experiment designation: NP04 (see yearly report).The ProtoDUNE-SP test program at CERN has two very clear primary goals.
First, it will validate construction techniques and operational performance of full-scale single-phase TPC prototype modules on the timescale needed to begin construction of the first underground 10-kt module (late 2019). Operating the detector in real experimental conditions and for an extended period will allow for a full characterization of the detector components. It will also serve to inform the designs of the membrane cryostat and the LAr and LN2 cooling and LAr purification circuit. This will benchmark the principal technical solutions for the DUNE SP far detector components and, if they are found to be fully adequate, endorse them.
Secondly, ProtoDUNE-SP will study the response of the detector to charged particles of different types and energies. These measurements will serve to assess, and quantify to the extent possible, the systematic uncertainties that will affect the DUNE oscillation measurements. They also enable validation of MC simulations and validation/tuning of event reconstruction algorithms and particle identification tools. In many cases these measurements will produce physics results that are of interest to the wider community.
Experience gained from construction, installation and commissioning of protoDUNE-SP as well as performance tests with cosmic ray data are expected to lead to a detector optimization of equivalent phases for the DUNE far detector.