On October 3-6, a meeting of the SPD Collaboration was held in JINR in a hybrid format. This meeting was the third for SPD, but for the first time Collaboration members from different institutes got an opportunity to meet in person. About 140 members took part in the event, and more than 70 of them gathered in the Conference Hall. Scientists from 12 scientific centres of Russia, Armenia and Belarus met in Dubna. Colleagues from Italy, France, Serbia, the Czech Republic and China participated remotely. Guests from Mexico and India also joined the meeting online.
The main topic discussed was the completion of the SPD TDR. The meeting was divided into 5 blocks. On Monday morning, the general session was opened with the welcoming speech of NICA Project Leader Vladimir Kekelidze. Then participants heard a report of Chairman of the Collaboration Council Egle Tomasi-Gustafson (Saclay, France), reports of heads of the Collaboration, technical coordinator, convenors of physics programme and software groups, as well as a report of Chairman of the Publications Committee. The second half of the day was devoted to reports on electronics and DAQ. On Tuesday, reports on subsystems of the facility were presented. On Wednesday, colleagues were given a tour of the collider construction site and the SPD test zone. Then participants discussed the development of the experiment software. The last day of the meeting was focused on reports on physics and simulation of the detector’s responses. There were 52 reports presented at the meeting.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the SPD meeting held in person, since the Collaboration was formed during the pandemic and other restrictions. Scientists who have been successfully working for a long time first on the SPD CDR and then on the SPD TDR, gathered together for the first time and perceived themselves as a single team. At the same time, the participation of many foreign colleagues, albeit remotely, emphasizes that despite the difficult geopolitical situation, SPD remains a dynamically developing international collaboration. Indeed, heads of the SPD Collaboration were elected in March this year. They were Alexey Guskov (JINR) and Viсtor Kim (PNPI). The signing procedure of the Memoranda of Understanding has started. For now, these documents have been signed with five institutes. Two more institutes are ready to sign the documents in the near future. At a meeting of the Collaboration Council held on September 30, shortly before the meeting in Dubna, a new group joined the Collaboration following a unanimous decision. Moscow Engineering Physics Institute became the thirty-second participant of the Project.
The SPD TDR is expected to be presented at the winter session of the reformed Programme Advisory Committee for Particle Physics.