On September 18-19, AstroCeNT / NCAC PAS hosted scientists from various institutes, including INFN Torino, University of Warwick, University of Edinburgh, Lancaster University, and Royal Holloway University of London. They gathered for a topical workshop dedicated to testing the vPDUs (veto photodetector units) for the DarkSide-20k experiment. The event was organized in a hybrid format, with 10 participants from Poland, Italy, and Great Britain physically present and approximately 25 in total.
The photodetectors are crucial components of the DarkSide-20k experiment — they detect scintillation light pulses that are expected to be created during the interaction of dark matter particles with liquid argon in the detector. In particular, data collected by the photodetectors in the veto of the detector allows scientists to reject the signal from known processes that can mimic the dark matter interactions and are considered background events. We were particularly excited to finally host in Warsaw Dr Manuel Rolo, who is the INFN principal investigator on DarkWave and the head of DarkSide-20k photoelectronics group.
Throughout the workshop, participants engaged in discussions covering various topics and also shared the successes achieved by teams from AstroCeNT, Liverpool, Lancaster and Edinburgh. On the final day of the event, on-site workshop attendees had the unique opportunity to visit the CEZAMAT laboratory and embark on a guided tour of its technological facilities, including the Semiconductor Technologies, Integrated Photonics, and Optical Structures Technology plants, kindly offered to us by the lab management.
The entire vPDU testing workshop was strategically planned as one of DarkWave’s accomplishments, making a significant contribution to collaborative efforts in the field.