An experts group was set up and together with these experts a European roadmap towards the ultimate LLL sensor was established.

The members of the Experts Group were chosen from different fields to cover as many areas of the photosensor community as possible. Furthermore a mixture of men and women, young and senior scientists and experts from different countries were selected. The group was extended during the project and finally 17 experts agreed to join. Some of them are introduced here Regular meetings and discussions were led by Razmik Mirzoyan and Derek Strom and the result is written down in the SENSE roadmap.


The Roadmap describes the R&D activities and recommendations that the SENSE project has defined for realizing the ultimate low light-level (LLL) sensor(s).

This Roadmap represents not only a significant milestone, but also a benchmark for the future development of the ultimate low light-level sensor. While the creation of this plan required significant effort and commitment from many entities, it is only the beginning. Much work lies ahead to implement the strategies and recommendations laid out in this document. Coordination and collaboration among SENSE partners, academia and industrial partners will be essential to moving the R&D forward. The strategies and recommendations outlined in this Roadmap will require immediate attention to ensure their ultimate success. If everything comes together in support of this plan, and its key elements are implemented, SENSE is confident the dream of an ultimate LLL sensor will become a reality.


Different actors from industry and science were brought together during the TechForum.

The SENSE TechForum on photosensors and associated electronics took place in Geneva at the School of Physics on June 21-22, 2018. Around 90 participants, from science and industry, gathered to engage in the discussion of the latest developments in the field. The following companies sent a representative: Broadcom, CAEN, ID Quantique, FBK, Hamamatsu and PhotonLab.

On the first day a set of review talks provided an overview of the main developments and challenges to produce the ultimate low light-level sensor. The focus was on SiPMs for different applications, including High Energy Physics, Astrophysics, Medical, Ranging and Quantum Computing. The SENSE members presented their activities on various work packages like the cooperation agreement and the SENSE Roadmap.

On the second day the talks were focused on the behavior of SiPM devices under high radiation environments and cryogenic temperatures. In addition, new ideas for LLL sensors and readout electronics were presented. There were also presentations on two projects, ATTRACT and FAST, with a description of their funding opportunities. The plenary sessions finished with invited talks on the future evolution of PMT and SiPM technologies. The TechForum closed with a poster session including industry booth, where final discussion among the participants took place.


A link to other initiatives was established and used for mutual interaction.

We have established contact to the initiatives FAST and ATTRACT which were also invited to the TechForum and introduced themselves to the community. A portrait of both initiatives is available here:

SENSE was present at the ICASiPM workshop and both, people from the Consortium and from the experts group are involved in the working groups established during the workshop and in return the heads of the working groups were invited to the SENSE expert meeting.


A cooperation agreement for providing a framework for the testing and performance studies of photosensors has been elaborated which is signed by 10 Institutes.

In the context of SENSE a collaboration between several labs experienced in measuring photosensors was developed and is regulated within a MoU. The aim is to characterize LLL sensors and standardize measurements and analysis procedures. Furthermore a closer connection between the different test facilities is encouraged to share experience and best practice. Each lab has slightly different test facilities for the measurement of photosensors so as a first step the labs in Geneva, Catania and Nagoya were characterized and systematic errors relevant for various measurements were compared. This allows to minimize doubled efforts in characterizing sensors and to establish common precisions on measured quantities. All results should be published jointly under open access, like here:

SENSE: A comparison of photon detection efficiency and optical crosstalk of various SiPM devices, A. Nagai et al., NIM A, Volume 912, 21 December 2018, Pages 182-185,

The Cooperation Agreement for providing a framework for the testing and performance studies of photosensors was developed is signed by the following institutions:

Universitiy of Geneva (UNIGE), Max-Planck-Institut für Physik (MPI), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Deutsches Elektron Synchrotron (DESY), Nagoya University (Nagoya), INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania (INAF-CT), University of Heidelberg, Institute for High Energy Physics of Barcelona (IFAE), University of Barcelona ICCUB , Institut de Física Corpuscular (IFIC CSIC-UV), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)


The results of measurements performed in line with the Cooperation Agreement are partly published in a database.

Results from the measurements at Geneva, Catania, Nagoya and Karlsruhe are published on the SENSE website. The results shall help the user to identify a suitable SiPM fitting their particular needs. It can be further extended and improved in the future.


Several labs included in the Cooperation Agreement are portrayed here.

These portraits show the equipment of the different test facilities, some measurement examples and provide contact details for more information. If you are interested in particular measurements feel free to get in contact with the labs.


The SENSE Detector School in 2019, which aimed to inform about the forefront developments on low light-level detectors, brought together students and experts and attracted young researchers from Europe and other countries.

In June 2019 Ringberg Castle was hosting a group of 32 PhD and master students for the SENSE Detector School. As part of the SENSE program this school was newly designed to train young researchers on photosensors and their application in science projects and in innovative commercial products.

The SENSE Detector School provided a mix of lectures, short presentations by the participants and some exercises. The lecturers where mostly recruited from the SENSE Experts Group and complemented by leading experts in photosensor applications that the students had the chance to get informed about the forefront developments in this field.

To allow the students some hands-on work during the SENSE Detector School a dark chamber, a muon detector and electronics exercises from MPI Munich, University of Geneva and University of Barcelona were packed and shipped to the castle.

Altogether, the program of this 2 ½ days SENSE Detector school was really packed with detailed lectures on low light level photosensors and theory, signal processing and associated electronics. The application of photosensors in science such as astroparticle and particle physics projects, medical diagnosis and in LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems demonstrated the large variety of applications and the importance of this topic. Beside the lectures on photosensors also Science Communication was a topic and during a discussion round at the last evening the opinion of the students was gatheres.

The SENSE Detector School was the first of its kind, the feedback received from both, students and lecturers was very positive. It was noticed that the good mix of participants, with 11 different nationalities and over 40% females, greatly supported the pleasant atmosphere during the SENSE Detector School. Obviously, the SENSE Detector School shall not remain a singular event and possibilities to organize this school beyond the lifetime of the SENSE project need to be discussed.

The lectures are available here:


This website, which should serve as a Technology Exchange Platform was established.

The website informs about the project, photosensors and offers an education & outreach section. The News and Events section was up-to-date during the runtime of the project and is now updated only occasionally.

An online forum for interaction between different parties was offered. With different categories on different topics and possibilities like the option to ask an expert, people should be attracted. However, this opportunity was never really used. Therefore the forum is now closed.


An education & outreach section allows to get informed on different levels and with different formats on photosensor technologies.

Basic information for the general public and young students on the working principle of the two most common photosensors, SiPMs and PMTs, are given in two videos.

The slides of the lectures from the SENSE Detector school are provided and can be used to get informed on a more detailed level, mainly for young researchers.

An overview talk about SENSE and photosensors and their application, held during the Baksan school is provided. These slides could be used for other summer schools to give an overview on photosensor technology.

The third format provided are descriptions of different student experiments. The SiPM Cosmic Cans are available for outreach and educational events. The other experiments show examples and should inspire teachers or lecturers to get ideas for educational projects.


Several scientific papers and one popular article were published during the SENSE project.