CERN Accelerating science

IoT at the LHC: Integrating ‘internet-of-things’ devices into the control systems for the Large Hadron Collider

Date Published: 
Wednesday, 25 October, 2017
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerates particles to over 99.9999% of the speed of light. It is the most complex machine ever built, relying on a wide range industrial control systems for proper functioning. This project will focus on integrating modern ‘systems-on-a-chip’ devices into the LHC control systems. The new, embedded ‘systems-on-a-chip’ available on the market are sufficiently powerful to run fully-fledged operating systems and complex algorithms. Such devices can also be easily enriched with a wide range of different sensors and communication controllers. The ‘systems-on-a-chip’ devices will be integrated into the LHC control systems in line with the ‘internet of things’ (IoT) paradigm, meaning they will be able to communicate via an overlaying cloud-computing service. It should also be possible to perform simple analyses on the devices themselves, such as filtering, pre-processing, conditioning, monitoring, etc. By exploiting the IoT devices’ processing power in this manner, the goal is to reduce the network load within the entire control infrastructure and ensure that applications are not disrupted in case of limited or intermittent network connectivity.