University of Wisconsin-Madison Physical Sciences Lab

PSL submits proposal for DUSEL

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

PSL, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Brookhaven National Lab have submitted a collaborative proposal to the National Science Foundation for engineering and development on the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Lab (DUSEL) in South Dakota.

DUSEL image

This project is an initiative of the NSF to develop laboratory facilities on three levels in an abandoned gold mine at Homestake. PSL has proposed a coordinated study of photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) which would operate reliably over long periods of time, in high purity water at pressures exceeding 6 atmospheres gauge pressure. This is the limiting factor in vertical size of a large water Cherenkov detector that would be used in DUSEL for detection of Long Baseline Neutrino Oscillations sent from FermiLab. PSL will build analytical, mechanical models of PMT structure and carry through Finite Element Analyses (FEA) to predict failure modes under pressure, iterating to improve the models. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will extend measurements of the effect of high purity water on PMT materials. Brookhaven National Laboratory will continue and extend PMT implosion testing to directly test manufacturer’s PMTs and validate FEA calculations. Expertise has already been gained on previous experiments with similar constraints. In particular, PSL will benefit from testing the PMTs developed for IceCube as well as smaller PMTs intended for the Daya Bay Reactor neutrino oscillation experiment.