Summer 2013

Upgrades at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

PSL Engineer Dan Wenman at CERN with the Muon Chamber Lifter (a.k.a. "Bart-o-Matic").

Recently Dan Wenman visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, where he is working on several projects. “One is a project headed by University of Wisconsin-Madison Research Scientist and Project Investigator Richard Loveless.” Dan explains, “Currently the Large Hadron Collider is shut down for two year maintenance. Previously, it shut down every winter, but now it will run for five years and be down for two.” 

Taking advantage of the down time for maintenance and upgrade, Dan recently traveled to CERN to exchange parts that needed replacement. Later in September, he will travel back to finish the installation fixture and install Muon chambers on the Compact Muon Solenoid end caps. To help with the installation of these chambers the Muon Chamber Lifter & Positioner will be used; it is a machine that was designed and built at PSL. “There is a lot of activity now at CERN, a lot of engineers and technicians working. Efforts have been redirected to the upgrade and maintenance” he said.

Dan is also working directly with CERN on the addition of cooling manifolds for the new Resistive Plate Chambers (RPC) that are being added as part of the upgrade, and also on radiation shielding for the beam pipe. He explains that as the energy and luminosity increases a need to shield material near the beam access becomes more necessary. The radiation shield consists of two steel and lead assemblies that weigh more than three tons each and have to be carefully maneuvered in position around the beam pipe to protect workers doing maintenance around the chambers. Testing of one of the assemblies will begin next year and then a second one will be built for installation during the next shut down.


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