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  • richardmitnick 10:17 am on August 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Cryogenics, LATR-Large aperture telescope receiver, , Simons Array; Atacama Cosmology Telescope; and POLARBEAR. Location Cerro Toco Atacama Desert Chile, , The challenge with measuring the CMB is that the signal is incredibly faint., The Large Aperture Telescope- LAT for short- is being produced in Germany with the aim of having both the LATR and LAT assembled and shipped to Chile in early 2021., The largest ground-based cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment ever built.,   

    From Penn Today: “In search of signals from the early universe” 


    From Penn Today

    August 7, 2019

    Erica K. Brockmeier, Writer
    Eric Sucar, Photographer

    Penn astronomers are part of an international collaboration to construct the Simons Observatory, a new telescope that will search the skies in a quest to learn more about the formation of the universe.

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    The site of the future Simons Observatory, with the Simons Array, Atacama Cosmology Telescope and POLARBEAR.
    Location Cerro Toco, Atacama Desert, Chile
    Altitude 5,200 m (17,100 ft)

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    As part of the largest ground-based cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment ever built, twice as big as previous observatories, putting together the large aperture telescope receiver (right) for the Simons Observatory will be a multiyear endeavor for researchers in Mark Devlin’s lab.

    CMB per ESA/Planck

    On a hot morning in early July, a seven-foot wide, 8,000-pound metallic structure made its way from Boston to Penn’s David Rittenhouse Laboratory. The large aperture telescope receiver (LATR) was carefully loaded onto a forklift and carried through narrow alleyways and parking lots before being placed in the High Bay lab, while students and researchers watched in eager anticipation.

    But now is when the work, and the fun, truly begins. As members of the Simons Observatory collaboration, researchers in the lab of Mark Devlin are now putting the finishing touches on the LATR, the sensor that will be the “heart” of a cutting-edge astronomical observatory whose goal is to learn more about the early moments of the universe.

    The Simons Observatory will include a series of telescopes, located in the high Atacama Desert in northern Chile, that are designed to detect cosmic microwave background (CMB). CMB is the residual radiation left behind by the Big Bang, and astronomers study these faint waves to learn more about the first moments of the universe, nearly 14 billion years ago. By studying this “afterglow” of the Big Bang, researchers are hoping to learn more about the evolution of the universe over time.

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    Xu (pictured) describes the LATR as the equivalent to the charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor in a digital camera—something that converts light into electrons, which are then converted into a digital image, while the other components of the telescope are like the lens.

    “It’s like a fossil,” says Michele Limon, a systems engineer working on the Simons Observatory project, about how the CMB can help astronomers look back in time. Limon also says that the CMB could even be used in other areas of physics research, like measuring the mass of neutrinos. “The CMB is an amazing tool that lets you study all kinds of things,” he says.

    But the challenge with measuring the CMB is that the signal is incredibly faint. “Because it’s so faint, we need to control the noise,” explains Zhilei Xu, a postdoc in the Devlin group. “And all of the electronics work better when they are colder. If it’s too hot, they are noisier.”

    Cold, in the case of the LATR, means really, really, really cold. The CMB exists around 3 degrees Kelvin, nearly -450 degrees Fahrenheit. And because the Simons Observatory wants to study the CMB in the ultra-microwave range, they’ll need to make the detector even colder, down to 0.1 degrees Kelvin. For perspective, 0 Kelvin is called Absolute zero, the lowest theoretical temperature that isn’t actually possible to reach.

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    Detecting the CMB in the ultra-microwave range means that the LATR needs to reach temperatures close to 0.1 degrees Kelvin, nearly -460 degrees Fahrenheit. This involved carefully engineering and designing the LATR by researchers including graduate students Zhu (far left) and Orlowski-Scher (right, partially obscured).

    As experts in cryogenics, a branch of physics that deals with creating and studying things at very low temperatures, the Devlin group is working on creating the right type of super-cold environment for the detectors to find the CMB. Using their expertise, the group designed the massive metallic shell that will house all of the detection technology, with graduate students Ningfeng Zhu and Jack Orlowski-Scherer heavily involved in the design of the LATR.

    “There is a limited cooling power of the fridge,” says Orlowski-Scherer about the ultra-cold fridge that will go inside the LATR. “We had to design the instrument in a way that could match what the cooler was able to put out. Staying under the limit meant careful design,” he says.

    As the largest ground-based CMB experiment ever built, twice as big as previous observatories, Zhu says that the design process involved addressing a number of engineering challenges. The amount of time spent working on the design and the anticipation of waiting to see whether the LATR could hold up under vacuum pressures were “exciting, challenging, and rewarding,” he says. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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    The seven-foot wide, 8,000-pound metallic structure will be the “heart” of the Simons Observatory, a cutting-edge endeavor to study the CMB and gain insights into the earliest moments of the universe. Zhu (left) and Xu, along with the rest of the Devlin group, are now busy running tests before installing insulation, detectors, thermometers, and sensors.

    The Devlin lab will spend the coming months running tests to make sure the LATR, the shell of which was fabricated in Boston with all components precise to 1 mm, works as it should before installing insulation, detectors, thermometers, and sensors.

    In parallel, the large aperture telescope, LAT for short, is being produced in Germany with the aim of having both the LATR and LAT assembled and shipped to Chile in early 2021. The goal is for the observatory to collect its “first light” sometime in the spring of 2021.

    6
    Simons Observatory large aperture telescope receiver design overview

    Devlin, who has been working in this field for his entire career, says that the finished product will be 10 times more sensitive than any other CMB experiment he’s worked on. He says that with such a long-term project like this it’s hard to have a single aspect that he’s most looking forward to but says it’s “fantastic” to have the LATR here at Penn and to see the progress that’s being made every day.

    “The short-term goals are based on tech, but the long-term goal is actually the science. We spend our time on the tech because, ultimately, you want to take sensitive measurements of the sky. And we’re going to be looking at cool stuff, the evolution of the universe over cosmic time, so just to see the results come in will be fun,” says Devlin.

    This project is supported by the Simons Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation with additional support provided by the Dean’s Office of the School of Arts and Sciences. A complete list of collaborating institutions can be found at the Simons Observatory website.

    Mark Devlin is the Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 3:13 pm on August 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Cryogenics, , Instrument integration, Jean Louis Lizon   

    From ESOblog: “Cooling Down Astronomy” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From ESOblog

    24 August 2018

    2
    Jean Louis Lizon

    Cryogenic expert Jean Louis Lizon on ESO’s technology development.

    1

    Over the last six decades, ESO has risen to its prominence in ground-based astronomy mainly due to its smart, dedicated, and hard-working staff. One such staff member is Jean Louis Lizon, former head of the Cryo-Vacuum Integration group. He’s been at ESO for more than 37 years — and in that time he’s seen six Director Generals, installed more than 40 different instruments and instrument sub-systems, travelled to Chile 132 times, and spent more than 2000 days on top of La Silla and Paranal. We chatted with him about his long career.

    Q: You’ve been at ESO for 37 years — could you tell us how you first joined the organisation?

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    Jean Louis Lizon with the EMMI instrument at the Integration Laboratory at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany.
    Credit: ESO

    A: I studied optics and opto-mechanics in high school, then began working at an industrial company in Paris doing optics for military equipment. This gave me five years’ technical integration experience, making me well suited when a position opened up at ESO. I was definitely tired of living in a large city, so when I found an announcement for a position at ESO in Germany, I applied with the idea that three years abroad would be very good, especially since my wife and I had one child and were planning an additional one. It was a break that was also optimal for the family.

    Q: What has been your role at ESO, and did it change over the years?

    A: I started out responsible for instrument integration. After two years, the cryogenic expert, who was responsible for the technology that cools instruments, departed and I was offered his responsibilities on top of my existing duties. Back then, ESO was a small organisation where everybody knew each other, but slowly over the years activity grew, especially in regards to the Very Large Telescope (VLT). We appointed more staff and I became the supervisor of the Cryo-Vacuum Integration group (CVI). I supervised the group for over 15 years.

    As a cryogenic expert, I was first responsible for finishing IRSPEC.

    NASA Webb NIRspec

    ESO IRSPEC now decommissioned

    At the time, it was the first big infrared instrument, so it needed one of the largest cryostats in the world — this is an apparatus to maintain a very low temperature and thus reduce noise and increase sensitivity to improve the instrument’s performance. In the specific case of infrared instruments, it is necessary to cool down the complete instrument in order to see the light from the stars and not the light emitted by the warm surfaces of the instrument itself.

    So we went from a time where most infrared instruments were still portable to a one-tonne cryostat. It was also the time where electronic detectors like CCDs became available, which meant that as a cryogenic expert I had to develop the cryostat to host this new type of detector. I first used what was commercially available and later, in 1990, began to develop ESO detector cryostats.

    Q: You have seen four decades of instrumentation at ESO. Over these years, which instrument was most significant to you?

    A: Most probably ISAAC, the first ESO instrument on the VLT.

    ESO ISAAC on the VLT

    It was a serious challenge to go from a cryogenic instrument for a 4-m class telescope to a cryogenic instrument for an 8-m telescope class. It is also an instrument which — despite some technical problems — was extremely popular and remained in operation for 12 years, with a very high number of scientific publications.

    ISAAC is even more significant because it allowed us to gain experience in developing cryogenic mechanisms, which we then used to build a simpler version for the New Technology Telescope in just 12 months. This instrument, SOFI, is still in operation after almost 20 years.

    ESO SOFI

    3

    Final integration and testing of ISAAC (foreground) and SOFI (background) at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany in June 1997.
    Credit: ESO

    Q: You’ve contributed to many ESO technologies that push the limits of astronomy. Are there any technologies that you’re particularly proud of?

    A: There are a few in various areas. I would mention the continuous-flow cryostat, which is a device where liquid nitrogen, the substance used to produce very low temperatures, is constantly replenished.

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    This cryostat can be built very compactly due to the continuous-flow technique. This cryostat was built in the early 1990s.
    Credit: ESO/H.H.Heyer

    This has been the subject of a technology transfer and has been used already in a number of applications outside of ESO — such as in the fibre-speed spectrograph installed at the Korean Astronomy Observatory (KAO) in 2000, the first test camera of the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, and CARMENES spectrographs in Spain.

    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, Spain, sited on a volcanic peak 2,267 metres (7,438 ft) above sea level

    CARMENES spectrograph, mounted on the Calar Alto 3.5 meter Telescope, located in Almería province in Spain on Calar Alto, a 2,168-meter-high (7,113 ft) mountain in Sierra de Los Filabres

    In optics, I would also mention the mosaicking of gratings, which is a technique that allows us to build large gratings by “stitching” together smaller pieces. These are easier to manufacture and it is also done for detectors, too. Some development had already been done 35 years ago, but I have improved on this technique for ESPRESSO’s grating in the last few years.

    Espresso Layout


    ESO/ESPRESSO on the VLT

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    The huge mosaiced diffraction grating at the heart of the ultra-precise ESPRESSO spectrograph is pictured undergoing testing in the cleanroom.
    Credit: ESO/M. Zamani

    Q: ESO is becoming less involved in the construction of instruments — do you think that’s a good thing?

    A: No, I think it even may be dangerous. ESO might lose experience and know-how. What we are doing, especially in the instrument field, is only prototyping. We have to take some technical risks and need a lot of technical developments.

    Over the past two or three years, I have been giving some training in the field of cryo-vacuum instrumentation, where I am trying to transfer part of my 40 years of experience to new engineers from all over Europe. They are an extremely good and active group — so I have no doubt that with the European community, ESO will succeed to build the new instruments such as those for the ELT.

    However, I am concerned about ESO’s own contribution. Even to judge a design, a certain level of technical experience is needed, so if ESO moves further away from doing practical work on instruments then this seems risky — plus it may lead to a loss of the contact with the technical reality, meaning we might ask instrument group to achieve performances that are not realistic.

    Q: You gave a recent talk at ESO with the quote: “No Risk, No Glory.” What is the biggest risk you took at ESO?

    A: In general, I advocate taking calculated risks in order to deliver instruments on time and working. One serious risk I faced was installing, integrating and aligning the MUSE instrument on the VLT’s Unit Telescope 4. I was responsible for organising and supervising the transport of the unique instrument — worth some 12 million euros! — from Paranal basecamp to the telescope on the summit.

    Another significant risk was getting the 12 cryogenic mechanisms working on ISAAC where we had to develop parts of the technology ourselves as there were no affordable off-the-shelf solutions.

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    This picture shows the MUSE instrument being lifted into the dome of Unit Telescope 4 at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.
    Credit: ESO/G. Hüdepohl (www.atacamaphoto.com)

    Q: What has been your favourite moment working at ESO?

    A: My favourite moment is one that repeats itself — every time an instrument is installed on the telescope and the instrument scientist sends me out and asks me not to touch the instrument anymore because she’s excited and wants to start science with it!

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    Jean Louis Lizon takes a short break amidst the new VLT instrument UVES, the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph. This photo was taken in the 1980s.
    Credit: ESO/P. Gray

    ESO VLT UVES

    Q: You must have gathered some stories of your time at ESO: are there any you’d like to share?

    A: I have a plenty but one, in particular, has come to me. After 12 very intense days of integration of IRSPEC at the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, we cooled it down.

    At that time, in the mid-1980s, IRSPEC was one of the largest infrared spectrographs ever built. Unfortunately, we did not get any light on the detector. We thought that it must be an alignment problem — but we simply forgot to remove the protection of the infrared detector! It took three more days of warming up, opening, correcting, closing, evacuating and cooling down to finally get a signal.

    I have also been faced with many strange and memorable situations, such as an evacuation of the La Silla Observatory due to heavy snow in 1983. I have also been stuck for a week at Paranal after the strong earthquake in 2012. Back during my first mission at La Silla, we had only one daily radio contact with Santiago, with no telephone and no other way to communicate…such a difference to today, when everybody is lost after two hours without internet or phone connection!

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    La Silla after a snowstorm. Jean Louis Lizon was one of the ESO staff who was evacuated from La Silla due to heavy snow in 1983.
    Credit: ESO/S. Laustsen

    Q: What is your plan for the future, what will you be doing during the next few years?

    A: I will first and foremost spend some more time with my family, who I neglected a bit during all these years. I will continue to collect plants for my herbarium and also to hike mountains. Of course, I will also continue to answer technical questions and contribute some technical support to the community.

    Q: And finally, what’s your advice for young engineers?

    A: What I always say: do not hesitate to take some risks and to try. Do not be afraid to work and to fail.

    See the full article here .


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    ESO TAROT telescope at Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO ExTrA telescopes at Cerro LaSilla at an altitude of 2400 metres

     
  • richardmitnick 2:17 pm on September 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cryogenics,   

    From NASA/JPL at Caltech: “Cold Atom Laboratory Chills Atoms to New Lows” 

    JPL

    September 26, 2014
    Elizabeth Landau
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
    818-354-6425
    elizabeth.landau@jpl.nasa.gov

    NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) mission has succeeded in producing a state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, a key breakthrough for the instrument leading up to its debut on the International Space Station in late 2016.

    NASA Cold Atom Laboratory
    >NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory

    A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a collection of atoms in a dilute gas that have been lowered to extremely cold temperatures and all occupy the same quantum state, in which all of the atoms have the same energy levels. At a critical temperature, atoms begin to coalesce, overlap and become synchronized like dancers in a chorus line. The resulting condensate is a new state of matter that behaves like a giant — by atomic standards — wave.

    “It’s official. CAL’s ground testbed is the coolest spot at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at 200 nano-Kelvin [200 billionths of 1 Kelvin], “said Cold Atom Laboratory Project Scientist Rob Thompson at JPL in Pasadena, California. “Achieving Bose-Einstein condensation in our prototype hardware is a crucial step for the mission.”

    Although these quantum gases had been created before elsewhere on Earth, the Cold Atom Laboratory will explore the condensates in an entirely new regime: The microgravity environment of the space station. It will enable groundbreaking research in temperatures colder than any found on Earth.

    CAL will be a facility for studying ultra-cold quantum gases on the space station. In the station’s microgravity environment, interaction times and temperatures as low as one picokelvin (one trillionth of one Kelvin, or 293 trillion times below room temperature) should be achievable. That’s colder than anything known in nature, and the experiments with CAL could potentially create the coldest matter ever observed in the universe. These breakthrough temperatures unlock the potential to observe new quantum phenomena and test some of the most fundamental laws of physics.

    First observed in 1995, Bose-Einstein condensation has been one of the “hottest” topics in physics ever since. The condensates are different from normal gases; they represent a distinct state of matter that starts to form typically below a millionth of a degree above absolute zero, the temperature at which atoms have the least energy and are close to motionless. Familiar concepts of “solid,” “liquid” and “gas” no longer apply at such cold temperatures; instead, atoms do bizarre things governed by quantum mechanics, such as behaving as waves and particles at the same time.

    Cold Atom Laboratory researchers used lasers to optically cool rubidium atoms to temperatures almost a million times colder than that of the depths of space. The atoms were then magnetically trapped, and radio waves were used to cool the atoms 100 times lower. The radiofrequency radiation acts like a knife, slicing away the hottest atoms from the trap so that only the coldest remain.

    The research is at the point where this process can reliably create a Bose-Einstein condensate in just seconds.

    “This was a tremendous accomplishment for the CAL team. It confirms the fidelity of the instrument system design and provides us a facility to perform science and hardware verifications before we get to the space station,” said CAL Project Manager Anita Sengupta of JPL.

    While so far, the Cold Atom Laboratory researchers have created Bose-Einstein condensates with rubidium atoms, eventually they will also add in potassium. The behavior of two condensates mixing together will be fascinating for physicists to observe, especially in space.

    Besides merely creating Bose-Einstein condensates, CAL provides a suite of tools to manipulate and probe these quantum gases in a variety of ways. It has a unique role as a facility for the atomic, molecular and optical physics community to study cold atomic physics in microgravity, said David Aveline of JPL, CAL ground testbed lead.

    “Instead of a state-of-the-art telescope looking outward into the cosmos, CAL will look inward, exploring physics at the atomic scale,” Aveline said.

    JPL is developing the Cold Atom Laboratory sponsored by the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

    The Space Life and Physical Sciences Division of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington manages the Fundamental Physics Program.

    See the full article here.

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge [1], on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

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  • richardmitnick 2:44 pm on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cryogenics, ,   

    From Science Daily: “Physicists have chilled the world’s coolest molecule” 

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    Science Daily

    August 21, 2014
    Source: Yale University, The original article was written by Jim Shelton.

    It’s official. Yale physicists have chilled the world’s coolest molecules.

    trap
    An optical cavity used to control the wavelength of some of the lasers used for the magneto-optical trap. Credit: Photo by Michael Helfenbein

    The tiny titans in question are bits of strontium monofluoride, dropped to 2.5 thousandths of a degree above absolute zero through a laser cooling and isolating process called magneto-optical trapping (MOT). They are the coldest molecules ever achieved through direct cooling, and they represent a physics milestone likely to prompt new research in areas ranging from quantum chemistry to tests of the most basic theories in particle physics.

    “We can start studying chemical reactions that are happening at very near to absolute zero,” said Dave DeMille, a Yale physics professor and principal investigator. “We have a chance to learn about fundamental chemical mechanisms.”

    The research is published this week in the journal Nature.

    Magneto-optical trapping has become ubiquitous among atomic physicists in the past generation — but only at the single-atom level. The technology uses lasers to simultaneously cool particles and hold them in place. “Imagine having a shallow bowl with a little molasses in it,” DeMille explained. “If you roll some balls into the bowl, they will slow down and accumulate at the bottom. For our experiment, the molecules are like the balls and the bowl with molasses is created via laser beams and magnetic fields.”

    Until now, the complicated vibrations and rotations of molecules proved too difficult for such trapping. The Yale team’s unique approach drew inspiration from a relatively obscure, 1990s research paper that described MOT-type results in a situation where the usual cooling and trapping conditions were not met.

    DeMille and his colleagues built their own apparatus in a basement lab. It is an elaborate, multi-level tangle of wires, computers, electrical components, tabletop mirrors, and a cryogenic refrigeration unit. The process uses a dozen lasers, each with a wavelength controlled to the ninth decimal point.

    “If you wanted to put a picture of something high-tech in the dictionary, this is what it might look like,” DeMille said. “It’s deeply orderly, but with a bit of chaos.”

    It works this way: Pulses of strontium monofluoride (SrF) shoot out from a cryogenic chamber to form a beam of molecules, which is slowed by pushing on it with a laser. “It’s like trying to slow down a bowling ball with ping pong balls,” DeMille explained. “You have to do it fast and do it a lot of times.” The slowed molecules enter a specially-shaped magnetic field, where opposing laser beams pass through the center of the field, along three perpendicular axes. This is where the molecules become trapped.

    Quantum mechanics allows us to both cool things down and apply force that leaves the molecules levitating in an almost perfect vacuum,” DeMille said.

    The Yale team chose SrF for its structural simplicity — it has effectively just one electron that orbits around the entire molecule. “We thought it would be best to start applying this technique with a simple diatomic molecule,” DeMille said.

    The discovery opens the door for further experimentation into everything from precision measurement and quantum simulation to ultracold chemistry and tests of the standard model of particle physics.

    sm
    The Standard Model of elementary particles, with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    The lead author of the paper is John Barry, a former Yale graduate student now at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Other authors of the paper are Yale postdoctoral fellow Danny McCarron and graduate students Eric Norrgard and Matt Steinecker.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 9:31 pm on January 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cryogenics,   

    From D.O.E. Pulse: “Jefferson Lab engineers help space chamber reach cold target at unprecedented efficiency” 

    pulse

    January 21, 2013

    “As the U.S. sweated through its warmest year on record outside, a testing chamber at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston reached its coldest temperatures yet on the inside, cooled by one of the world’s most efficient cryogenic refrigeration systems.

    chiller

    Designed by members of the Cryogenics group at the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab, the system reached its target temperature of 20 Kelvin, about -424 degrees F, for the first time in May 2012 and again during commissioning tests in late August. It reached its target temperature in just over a day and maintains a steady temperature with less than a tenth of a degree in variation over a load temperature range of 16 to 330 Kelvin, all with no loss of helium and using half the liquid nitrogen than comparable systems. But what is even more remarkable is its ability to maintain design efficiency down to a third of its maximum load.

    ‘The range of load temperature and capacity while maintaining peak efficiency and temperature stability is unprecedented, said Venkatarao (Rao) Ganni, deputy Cryogenics Department head, and a key member of the system design team.”

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 9:35 am on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Cryogenics, , FNAL CMTF   

    From Fermilab Today: “Cryogenics at Fermilab: Cooler than a frozen Han Solo” 

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    “Fermilab’s cryogenics R&D may not be able to deep-freeze a brazen Han Solo, but it can cool cutting-edge particle accelerators down—way down—to the optimum operational temperatures.

    ‘No one realizes how important the cryogenic cooling system is until it stops working,’ said Jay Theilacker, the head of the Cryogenics Department. ‘Many of the proposed experiments at Fermilab need to be cooled down to within a couple degrees of absolute zero to operate.’

    In 2010, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act granted Fermilab $114.2 million to cultivate the infrastructure for projects like SRF technology development, NOvA and LBNE. The cryogenics department received $10 million to establish the cooling systems required to chill these projects.

    ‘Fermilab built this entire building with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,’ Theilacker said while giving a tour of the brand-new Cryomodule Testing Facility (CMTF).

    “Eventually, R&D for a number of different experiments will move into this building, but before any of these experiments can operate, they will need the cryogenic infrastructure.’ ”

    cmf
    The model of the Cryomodule Testing Facility shows the SLAC refrigerator in orange. The silver cylinder in the foreground is the cryogenic distribution box, and the large silver cylinder on the right is the superfluid helium cryogenic plant. Image: Dave Richardson, AD

    bldg
    Major construction of Fermilab’s Cryomodule Test Facility was completed in January 2012. This facility will house the new cryogenic systems as well as R&D for a number of different experiments. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz

    See the full article here.


     
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