Fermilab reinstalls CM2, plans to be ready for cooldown in July
11 July 2013
“With the repair and reinstallation of the cryomodule known as CM2, researchers at Fermilab, US, are back on the road towards achieving the International Linear Collider’s R&D goal (named task force “S1”): operating a cryomodule at ILC gradient specifications.
CM2 in Fermilab’s NML facility. Image: Jerry Leibfritz
Originally installed in May 2012 as a part of the Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator (ASTA)in Fermilab’s NML facility, CM2 is the first ILC-type cryomodule built in the United States with cavities expected to meet the ILC’s specifications. But a helium leak detected in the cryomodule put the project on hold until April 2013, when CM2 was reinstalled at NML.
‘We expect to be ready for cooldown of CM2 this month, ‘ said project engineer Jerry Leibfritz. ‘Then we’ll start testing the cavities after that.’
In order to meet the ILC programme’s S1 goal, the average accelerating gradient over each of the cryomodule’s eight superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) cavities will need to reach at least 31.5 megavolts per metre (MV/m) after installation and cooldown.
A GDE team made an attempt to meet this goal in October 2010 at KEK, in a global collaboration known as the S1-Global experiment. They combined components from Fermilab, DESY (Germany), INFN (Italy), KEK (Japan) and SLAC (US) to build two short 4-cavity cryomodules that were then combined into an eight-cavity cryomodule. The cavities in this cryomodule fell slightly short of the goal, achieving an average gradient of 30.0 MV/m before installation and 26.0 MV/m for simultaneous operation of seven cavities after cooldown, as one cavity did not work properly. S1-Global showed that it is possible to operate a cryomodule close to ILC specifications, and Fermilab researchers hope CM2 will take the achievement one step further by meeting the requirements.
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What is the Linear Collider Collaboration?
While the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is producing exciting results like the discovery of a new particle that could be the Higgs boson, scientists around the world are already planning the next big collider to take the discoveries to the next level. Even though there is no decision yet which collider will be built or where, there is consensus in the scientific community that the results from the LHC will have to be complemented by a collider that can study the discoveries in greater detail by producing different kinds of collisions.
The Linear Collider Collaboration is an organisation that brings the two most likely candidates, the Compact Linear Collider Study (CLIC) and the International Liner Collider (ILC), together under one roof. Headed by former LHC Project Manager Lyn Evans, it strives to coordinate the research and development work that is being done for accelerators and detectors around the world and to take the project linear collider to the next step: a decision that it will be built, and where.
Some 2000 scientists — particle physicists, accelerator physicists, engineers — are involved in the ILC or in CLIC, and often in both projects. They work on state-of-the-art detector technologies, new acceleration techniques, the civil engineering aspect of building a straight tunnel of at least 30 kilometres in length, a reliable cost estimate and many more aspects that projects of this scale require. The Linear Collider Collaboration ensures that synergies between the two friendly competitors are used to the maximum.
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