The MPD detector has been designed as a 4π spectrometer capable of detecting charged hadrons, electrons and photons in heavy-ion collisions at high luminosity in the energy range of the NICA collider. To reach this goal, the detector will comprise a precise 3-D tracking system and a high-performance particle identification (PID) system based on time-of-flight measurements and calorimetry.

The basic design parameters have been determined taking into account the physics measurements to be performed and several technical constrains guided by a trade-off of efficient tracking and PID against a reasonable material budget.

At the NICA design luminosity, the minimum bias event rate in the MPD interaction region is about 6 kHz in Au+Au collisions and the total charged particle multiplicity exceeds 1000 in the most central collisions at √sNN = 11 GeV. As the average transverse momentum of the particles produced in a collision at NICA energies is below 500 MeV/c, the detector design requires a very low material budget. The general layout of the MPD apparatus is shown in the figure above.