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Prototype tests for a highly granular scintillator-based hadron calorimeter
Within the CALICE collaboration, several concepts for the hadronic calorimeter of a future linear collider detector are studied. After having demonstrated the capabilities of the measurement methods in "physics prototypes", the focus now lies on improving their implementation in "engineering prototypes", that are scalable to the full linear collider detector. The Analog Hadron Calorimeter (AHCAL) concept is a sampling calorimeter of tungsten or steel absorber plates and plastic scintillator tiles read out by silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) as active material. The front-end chips are integrated into the active layers of the calorimeter and are designed for minimal power consumption (power pulsing). The versatile electronics allows the prototype to be equipped with different types of scintillator tiles and SiPMs. In recent beam tests, a prototype with ~3700 channels, equipped with several types of scintillator tiles and SiPMs, was exposed to electron, muon and hadron beams. The experience of these beam tests as well as the availability of new generation SiPMs with much reduced noise and better device-to-device uniformity resulted in an improved detector design with surface-mount SiPMs allowing for easier mass assembly. The presentation will discuss the testbeam measurements with AHCAL engineering prototype, the improved detector design and the ongoing construction of a large prototype for hadronic showers.