Winter 2013/14

Large Hadron Collider Updates are Underway

Shutdown Keeps Engineers Busy

The Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland is shut down for possibly two years, but that does not mean that work has stopped. In fact it is teaming with engineers, technicians and scientists that will be covering the entire 27-kilometer circumference in order to renovate, repair and upgrade. Some features will be enhanced in preparation for operating the LHC at higher energy.

The shutdown is keeping PSL Engineer Dan Wenman busy traveling to Switzerland to continue his work with the upgrades for the UW-Madison. On his first trip he worked on preparations to install the Cathode Strip Chambers that detect muon particles. These chambers are being added to the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment detector as part of the detector upgrade.  Also part of the preparations, he also performed maintenance and upgrades to the chamber installation tool that is known at PSL as the “Bart-O-Matic”. This tool is used to help support and position the chambers during installation. After Dan preformed maintenance, he tested the “Bart-O-Matic” by removing and installing some chambers that need repairs.

On his second trip, he supervised the installation of 36 new chambers for the upgrade. The new chambers were transported by truck and then lowered in the cavern using two transporters designed and built by PSL. After the installation of the chambers, Dan supervised the connection of the gas and cooling circuits. The circuits were also designed by PSL. All the gas tubing for the gas circuits were made from copper tubing that was bent at PSL and shipped to the CERN for assembly.


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