2018 Detectors and Instrumentation Strategic Review

STFC is working with Diamond Light Source (DLS) to develop a strategy for meeting the future requirements for detectors and related instrumentation. The strategy will encompass the needs of STFC’s national laboratories, the national facilities including DLS, and their user communities. Detectors and instrumentation is one of the five technologies identified in the 2013 programmatic review as essential for the delivery of STFC’s programmes. The strategy will inform the approaches to be taken to meet the future science requirements and the associated investments needed.

The 2018 Detectors and Instrumentation Strategic Review will be carried out by an independent Review Panel. It aims to provide an understanding of, and make recommendations on, where future investment and resource should be targeted; taking into account the varying needs across the science application areas and any opportunities for synergies.

Community Consultation

STFC and DLS are seeking inputs to the Strategic Review exercise through their existing advisory panels and facility user groups. Recognising that detectors and instrumentation are key elements for all our science areas we would also welcome any comments and suggestions from our user communities. Please send these to STRATEGIES by Monday 30 April, putting 'Detectors' in the subject line.



STFC’s Executive Board has agreed that a cross cutting strategy should be developed addressing the needs of STFC, Diamond Light Source (DLS) and their user communities for detectors and instrumentation. The strategy will advise on the approaches to be taken to meet the future science requirements and the associated investments needed and will be informed by a Strategic Review to be carried out by an independent panel.

Strategic Review terms of reference

Detectors and instrumentation is a wide field of activity so the review will aim to give a global overview of the broad technology challenges and long term development opportunities relevant in each area, but not at the level of specific, individual detectors. The principal timescale for the review will be the next 10 years including the opportunities for short term (~1-5 years) and medium term (~5-10 years) actions.

The terms of reference for the review are that the panel should consider and make evidence based recommendations on:

  • The future opportunities for detectors and instrumentation development, both in the UK and internationally, including the scale of any financial investment needed. This should include the potential for incremental developments of current systems and also for new materials and systems.
  • The robustness of STFC and DLS’s needs assessments and the current capabilities (within STFC, DLS, science community and industry) in detectors and instrumentation, including identifying strengths and weaknesses against the identified needs.
  • The priorities for future STFC and DLS detector and instrumentation development, including where there are synergistic opportunities for developments that can benefit multiple application areas and what actions are needed to realise these.
  • Where STFC or DLS should seek to take an international leadership role, or conversely areas where minimal or no involvement would be appropriate.
  • The underpinning infrastructures required to deliver the high-priority detector and instrumentation needs, identifying any gaps and how these could be addressed.
  • The skills required to deliver the high-priority detector and instrumentation needs, where there are any gaps and how these could be addressed.
Review Panel members

The review will be carried out by an external panel which brings broad knowledge from the international, industrial and university sectors. The panel members are:

  • Professor Paula Chadwick - Durham University and Panel chair
  • Dr Heinz Graafsma - DESY
  • Professor Daniela Bortoletto - University of Oxford
  • Professor John Lees - University of Leicester
  • Dr Gabriella Carini - SLAC
  • Professor Henrique Araujo - Imperial College London
  • Dr Bruno Guerard - ILL
  • Dr Bruno Leone - ESA ECSAT
  • Professor John Simpson - Daresbury
  • Dr João Cabral - Science Board and Imperial College
  • Dr Seppo Nenonen - Oxford Instruments
  • Dr Paul Jerram - Teledyne e2v
Technical scope

The focus will be on where current detector capability is limiting the scientific progress. The scope will cover opportunities for significant capability gains from new or disruptive technologies (e.g. quantum based approaches and new materials) and also from incremental developments to current technologies. The topic areas identified cover all the aspects from initial photon/particle interaction through to enabling data analysis, and fall into the following groups:

  • Sensors and detectors – types/function
  • Sensors and detectors - materials
  • Data acquisition and processing
  • Electronics and interconnects
  • Support systems
  • New technologies

The panel will be briefed on STFC and DLS assessments of their current science programme requirements for detector and instrumentation, and the ongoing development activities. The panel will be able to consider additional areas where the available evidence can justify this.

Last updated: 21 March 2018

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