In order to be able to react to the different engagements on the projects, CPPM is equipped with differents equipments in various technical domains in electronics, computing and mechanics. Those equipments are operated by the technical services in the projects. Some of these technical tools are merged into platforms and technical plateaus:

  • LSPM : Provence Mediterranée Submarine Laboratory, submarine platform including connexion cables and junction boxes (including MEUST infrastructure). The Antares detector, the KM3NeT/ORCA detector and a new instrumentation line to study marine environment (NUMerEnv) are connected.
  • HPHC : Scientific Calculation Plateform (High Performance Hybid Computing), including the LHC Computing Grid TIER-2 node and the M3AMU project to give access to hybrid computing equipments developed with CCIAM (Centre de calcul intensif d’Aix Marseille).
  • PICA : Infrared Plateau Characterization
  • PRAX : Radon and Xenon Plateau

Laboratoire Sous-marin Provence Méditerranée

Aix-Marseille Technological Plateform
Platform Illustration © Mathilde Destelle
Platform Infrastructures

The Laboratoire Sous-marin Provence Méditerranée (LSPM) has been labelled "Aix-Marseille Technological Plateform" in order to structure the offer of skills and to make it easily accessible to the socio-economic and academic world. The Laboratoire Sous-marin Provence Méditerranée (LSPM) is also a national plateform of CNRS's National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics. Aix-Marseille University and Ifremer participate in the piloting of this infrastructure oriented towards multidisciplinary research and scientific culture. The Marseille Particle Physics Centre (CPPM) is the host laboratory for this platform, consisting essentially of an underwater infrastructure, installed at a depth of 2,500 meters, 40 kilometers south of Toulon, with real-time data transmission from the various instruments to the control rooms on land (La Seyne-sur-Mer, Marseille). The LSPM platform hosts the KM3NeT ORCA neutrino detector and EMSO environmental sensors. Other underwater connection links are available for new users.

Underwater infrastructure:

  • electro-optical cables for shore connection,

  • junction boxes for interfacing underwater instrumentation,

  • long base acoustic positioning system,

  • junction box dedicated to environmental measures.

Land infrastructure with a multidisciplinary and educational vocation:

  • Main control room in La Seyne-sur-Mer: real-time control of experiments, data acquisition and processing, high-speed connection to other control and storage centers,

  • Remote control room at the CPPM: showroom, reception, multimedia installations.

The plateform was initiated through the MEUST/NUMerEnv subsea insfrastructure (MEUST), and hosts the French site of the international KM3NeT experiment. It also represents the West-Ligure node of EMSO for environmental studies conducted by the Technical Division of the National Institute of Sciences of the Universe (DT-INSU) of the CNRS, the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanology (MIO), the Computer and Systems Laboratory (LIS) and Géoazur. LSPM is the second generation of submarine infrastructure, after the one deployed in the framework of the ANTARES experiment.

The project is financed within the framework of the State-Region Planning Contract, with the support of the European Union with the European Regional Development Fund, the CNRS National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3) and the Regional Academic Delegation for Research and Innovation (DRARI).



Mission Managers:

Steering Committee:

ComEx Experiences/Users Committee:

  • LSPM Management
  • LSPM Mission Managers
  • Ifremer Representative
  • KM3NeT Representative
  • EMSO Representative

External Scientific Committim progress

  • in progress
  • On the Detection Capabilities of Underwater DAS, I. Lior et al. , JGR Solid Earth 126 (2021) e2020JB020925
  • Les abysses cachent un monde de lumière, in Pop'sciences Mag, Numéro 6, juin 2020, par Caroline Depecker
  • Première publication des données KM3NeT : Dependence of atmospheric muon rate on seawater depth measured with the first KM3NeT detection units, M. Ageron et al. , KM3NeT Collaboration, Eur. Phys. J. C (2020) 80-99
  • Distributed sensing of earthquakes and ocean-solid Earth interactions on seafloor telecom cables, A. Sladen et al. , Nat. Commun. 10 (2019) 5777
  • Unique observatories for sea science and particle astrophysics: The EMSO-Antares and EMSO-Western Ionian nodes in the Mediterranean Sea, Dominique Lefevre, Bruno Zakardkjian, Daniele Embarcio, EPJ Web of Conferences 207, 09004 (2019),
  • KM3NeT 2.0 – Letter of Intent for ARCA and ORCA KM3NeT Collaboration: S. Adrián-Martínez et al. J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 43 (2016) 084001

LSPM Highlights:

  • October 2021: Labelling as an Aix-Marseille (AMU) technology platform

  • June 2021: Installation of the control room on the Aix-Marseille University campus - Luminy site

  • May 2021: Second steering committee of the LSPM

  • October 2020: Deployment and connection of the Second Junction Box of the LSPM submarine infrastructure

  • June 2020: First meeting of the LSPM steering committee

  • March 2020: Fundation of the national plateform CNRS/IN2P3 called Laboratoire sous-marin Provence Méditerranée (LSPM)

  • June 2019: CNRS Collective Crystal price has been awarded to the technical team of CPPM for the development and builing of the submarine MEUST/NUMenEnv infratructure

  • Octobre 2018: Commissioning of the submarine infrastructure MEUST/NUMerEnv with the first junction box

Scientific Experiments Highlights:

  • March 2021: Publication of the sensitivity on the determination of the neutrino mass ordering and measurements of oscillation parameters with KM3NeT/ORCA, which CPPM is main author

  • February 2021: Paschal Coyle, physicist at CPPM, is nominated Spokesman of the KM3NeT Collaboration for 2 years

  • February 2021: Publication of the sensitivity on the detection of core-collapse supernovae neutrinos with KM3NeT, which CPPM is main author

  • March 2020: KM3NeT contribues now to the SNEWS alert network for SNovea detection

  • January 2020: Installation of two new detection lines of the KM3NeT/ORCA detector which actually takes data continuously with 6 detection lines

  • Novembre 2019: First real time follow-up of a multi-messenger alert (gravitational wave S191110af) with KM3NeT and publication of its first notice(GCN #26249)

  • July 2019: Installation of two new detection lines of the KM3NeT/ORCA detector which actually takes data continuously with 4 detection lines

  • June 2019: Publication of the first KM3NeT analysis article - Dependence of atmospheric muon flux on seawater depth measured with the first KM3NeT detection units - with a major CPPM contribution

  • May 2019: Publication by the "Le MONDE" newspaper of the CNRS Image Video « Pêcheurs de neutrinos » on the building of KM3NeT/ORCA

  • May 2019: Installation of a new detection line of the KM3NeT/ORCA detector which now takes data with 2 detection lines, installation of the oceanographic module MII

  • February 2019: Installation of the first line of the K3NeT/ORCA detector

  • January 2019: Publication of the Letter of Intent on the Protvino-to-ORCA (P2O) project using a neutrino beam to measure the CP violation in the neutrino sector

  • Availability of deep user ports, with electro-optical link to ground, for instrumentation connection
  • Availability of the acoustic positioning system
  • Installation of "passive" systems for long-term ageing tests (materials, etc.)

The High-Performance Computing platform

The High-Performance Computing platform is a multimodal computing infrastructure for research on massive data. The EGI-INSPIRE project, financed by the European Commission, is the follow-up of the original EGEE projects which were completed in May 2010. The feasibility of a production level computing grid infrastructure was successfully demonstrated. The EGI infrastructure, based on national initiatives NGI France-Grille, provides European industry and research, access with this grid infrastructure, which is already extending over 260 sites in over 50 countries.

The project will focus on several primary goals:

  • To combine national, regional and dedicated grids in a single unique infrastructure to serve scientific research and to construct a solid computing grid for commercial research and industry;
  • To continually improve the software quality so as to provide a reliable service to users;
  • To attract new scientific and industrial users by allowing them to discover the great potential offered by the computing grid and to ensure that they receive a high quality of training and support;
  • Study future programming languages, in particular le GO language.

The grid makes use of the European Union’s high bandwidth network, GEANT, and exploits the vast expertise accumulated in the many national and international grid projects, past and present.

The CPPM computing departement is running a LCG Tier-2 grid node. The node aims to serve the analysis requirements or the laboratory’s physicists as well as those of other scientific researchers in Marseille, as well as contributing computing and storage elements to the grid. A new project is under study. It should offer a large computing infrastructure (about 2000 cores) and subsequent storage (about 1 PB) to different laboratories located on the Luminy Campus.

The High-Performance Computing infrastructure (mainly Grid computing until now - France-Grille and Tier 2 of LCG France), is developing a Cloud modality for the entire AMU scientific community. This will be possible thanks to an AMU project carried out in collaboration with the AMU HPC mesocentre through CPER and FEDER fundings. The project will set up a shared but distributed platform (Grid and Cloud in Luminy) and HPC (in Saint-Jérôme) accessed in a unified way for AMU users through the DIRAC software. CPPM made major contributions to the design and development of the this kind of systems, DIRAC project, for the LHCb Collaboration. This system now forms the basis for the activities of the Computing and Data team for the research of optimized algorithms for managing computing and storage resources for various scientific applications. In particular, the team focuses on so-called « Big Data » applications with the accent on management large data volumes distributed in multiple centers in the world.

Schematic of DIRAC
Schematic of DIRAC

The plateform develops innovative tools and services to integrate new types of resources, using cloud and supercomputer technologies, into large computing infrastructures like France-Grilles national grid or European Open Science Cloud (EOSC-Hub)

The CPPM Computing Platform project provides computing facilities to various research communities in France and in the world:

  • CPPM T2 site is part of the WLCG Grid infrastructure. It provides computing resources to the LHC experiments (ATLAS, LHCb) but also for other research communities
  • Cloud CPPM provides virtualized resources based on the Openstack service
  • M3AMU is a collaboration project with the University of Marseille to provide a single uniform access to the HPC Mesocentre as well as cloud and grid resources at CPPM

Ingénieurs et techniciens

  • La conception et le développement du système distribué de calcul et de gestion de donnée DIRAC qui est utilisé par de multiples communautés dans la domaine de la physique des hautes énergies, astrophysique, sciences de vie, etc.

  • La coordination de Consortium DIRAC qui réunit 7 universités et organismes de recherche dans le monde pour le développement et la promotion du logiciel et des services DIRAC

  • 2019: Cloud : Mise en pré-production d'un noeud de cloud M3AMU (400 coeurs, 200 TB)

  • 2020: Passage du réseau interne du noeud de Grille/Cloud à 100 Gbps


Infrared Plateau

The Euclid project was an opportunity for CPPM to acquire experience and strong skills in the design and realization of near infrared benches (working under secondary vacuum up to 70K) as well as expertise on hybrid IR pixel detectors of the H2RG type (persistence, gain, non-linearity, IPC).

The Infrared Platform allows the characterization of SWIR infrared detectors and benefits from a dedicated clean room (ISO7 - ISO5) equipped with two dedicated cryostats whose excellent quality has been demonstrated during the characterization of Euclid flight detectors.

CPPM's expertise in the field of infrared is now recognized internationally, thanks in particular to papers presented at conferences (SPIE, CNES), scientific publications, numerous Euclid Consortium-ESA-NASA meetings and contact with the LabEx FOCUS.

The CPPM is responsible for the characterization of the ALFA detector, a SWIR detector produced by the Lynred company, which will equip the infrared channel of the COLIBRI ground tracking telescope of the SVOM experiment. The laboratory also carries out the characterization of the low noise infrared quadrant photodiodes used for the validation of the LISA instrument by heterodyne interferometric measurement.

Radon Plateau

The objective of the Radon Plateau is to study the main problems associated with radon-induced background noise in low-energy neutrino physics and direct search for Dark Matter experiments, and to achieve a filtration quality of the order of microBq/m3.

With the advent of new projects that are more and more demanding in terms of background noise, we wish to deepen our knowledge of the phenomena of radon emanation, transport and capture, in particular environments (heavy gases, very low temperatures, etc.) with the extreme sensitivities required in future projects. The background noise induced by radon and its progeny is very often the most difficult component to eliminate and the ultimate limitation for a large number of experiments.

To address this issue, the interdisciplinary Radon platform hosts national and international experimental teams involved in various research projects for which radon is one of the main problems. An evolution is envisaged to regroup under the aegis of a national platform the expertise of the "low noise" type.

The Radon technical platform has the following equipment: germanium detector, adsorption measurement bench, diffusion chambers at ambient temperature, cryogenic system -85° C, RAD7 radon detector, etc.

Radon adsorption test bench that can operate from +20°C to -80°C. © Olivier Llido
Bench allowing measurements of low radon concentrations (as low as 50 mBq/m3). © Olivier Llido
Radonization chamber in controlled atmosphere. This chamber allows to expose small objects to a high concentration of radon. The nature of the gas, temperature, pressure and humidity are controlled. © Olivier Llido
Some samples of adsorbent materials that have been tested. © Olivier Llido
Anti-radon device designed and mounted at the CPPM. It allows to divide the radon concentration by at least one million! It is intended to be used on the SuperNemo experiment at the Modane Underground Laboratory. © Olivier Llido
Anti-radon device designed and mounted at the CPPM. It allows to divide the radon concentration by at least one million! It is intended to be used on the SuperNemo experiment at the Modane Underground Laboratory. © Olivier Llido
Sample holder of the adsorption test bench. © Olivier Llido
The germanium detector measures the spectrum of gamma photons emitted by the samples. It allows to precisely characterize their radioactivity. © Olivier Llido