Public Release: 

Platform for detector technologies and systems

Helmholtz Association


IMAGE: This is a part of the readout electronics of a camera which monitors particle cancer therapy. The camera was developed by Dresden's research alliance OncoRay. Cancer cells are... view more

Credit: HZDR

Detectors are the "eyes" with which researchers can observe unknown effects and explore extreme dimensions; thus, gaining new insights. Scientists at the HZDR are, for example, participating in large international research teams to help set up detector systems at the new accelerator complex FAIR in Darmstadt. These systems are designed to verify traces of the most elementary particles, including those that do not wander freely, which are the building blocks of our universe. The scientists want to investigate how our universe emerged from the big bang and how elements were created in the evolution of stars. But powerful detectors are also a direct benefit for humans, for example, when it comes to medicine. That's why HZDR physicists are developing together with other colleagues from Dresden's research alliance OncoRay a special camera which is capable of monitoring ion beams during the radiation therapy of cancer patients; thus, optimally controlling and directing these beams.

Many centers within the Helmholtz Association focusing on materials science are developing new detector technologies and systems. The new research platform seeks to develop technologies which will advance highly integrated photon, neutron and particle detectors to the next level and, thus, optimize data transmission and data evaluation while also designing and building exemplary detector prototypes. The platform is to provide all participants access to state-of-the-art detector technologies and the actual detectors based on such technologies while also be demonstrating Germany's competence in this sector to the world.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology coordinates the platform. The project makes it easier for universities to participate in the research projects of the Helmholtz Association and to use the infrastructure of the Helmholtz centers. Another vital issue of the detector initiative is the education, training, and promotion of the next generation of scientists and technicians in the field of detector instrumentation.


Participating Helmholtz centers and institutes: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research GmbH, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research (HZG), Helmholtz Institute Jena (HIJ), Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM)

Associated research centers:

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (USA), IN2P3 National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (France), Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Strasbourg (France), Linear Accelerator Laboratory, Orsay (France), Max-Planck-Institut für Physik, Munich (Germany), Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen (Switzerland), Science and Technology Facilities Council, STFC Technology, RAL, Harwell Oxford (UK)

University groups participating at submittal time:

AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow (Poland), University of Freiburg, RWTH Aachen University, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Augsburg University, University of Bonn, INFN National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Florence (Italy), Universität Hamburg, Heidelberg University, University of Wuppertal

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Andreas Wagner
Institute of Radiation Physics
Responsible for the HZDR's Portfolio Topic "Detector Technologies"
Phone: +49 351 260-3261

Press Contact

Dr. Christine Bohnet | Press Officer
Phone: +49 351 260-2450 or +49 160 969 288 56 |

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Bautzner Landstr. 400
01328 Dresden, Germany

The long-term objective of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is to ensure excellence in research in those fields that are of great relevance to our society. That is why the HZDR research focuses on the following topics:

  • How does matter behave in strong fields and at small-scale dimensions?
  • How can malignant tumors be identified at an early stage and treated effectively?
  • How can resources and energy be used safely and efficiently?

To answer these scientific questions, five large-scale research facilities provide, in part, unique research opportunities. These facilities are also accessible to external users.

The HZDR has been a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest research organization, since January 1, 2011. It has four locations in Dresden, Leipzig, Freiberg, and Grenoble and employs about 900 people - approx. 400 of whom are scientists including 140 doctoral candidates.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.