Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.
February 3, 2016
The Mu2e facility continues construction, south of Wilson Hall and, in this picture, is left of the completed MC-1 building. Both facilities are a part of the Muon Campus, along with the Muon Delivery Ring (not pictured). Photo: Tom Hamernik, FESS
With the Muon g-2 and Mu2e experiments, Fermilab may uncover new physics that could solve discrepancies in the Standard Model, which maps our understanding of physics in the subatomic realm. Fermilab has been building a home for the two experiments – the Muon Campus – which began construction in 2013. It is also preparing for Muon g-2 to take beam in 2017.
The lab met a major milestone last month, achieving beneficial occupancy on Dec. 9, for the Muon Campus’ underground beamline enclosure. The beamline links the muon experimentation facilities to the Muon Delivery Ring, which delivers beam to the Mu2e experiment. Beneficial occupancy is achieved when basic life safety systems, such as emergency lighting, fire alarms and communications, are in place.
“That doesn’t mean the building is completely finished,” said Tom Hamernik, a FESS engineer and conventional construction manager for the Mu2e facility and beamline enclosure. “After the laboratory takes beneficial occupancy, there is a substantial period of experimental equipment installation before the facility is ready for experimentation.”
The Muon Campus’ projected completion is in 2020.
The Muon Campus is south of Wilson Hall, and it will be one of several experimental campuses that use the Recycler accelerator (located in the Main Injector ring). The MC-1 facility on the Muon Campus, which houses the Muon g-2 experiment, and the beamline enclosure are currently the two areas that have beneficial occupancy.
“We’re at the peak of construction right now,” said Mary Convery, associate division head of the Accelerator Division.
Convery oversees the Muon Campus program, which is broken into several, smaller projects. Most of the construction and civil engineering projects are complete, while the accelerator upgrades and the Mu2e building construction remain.
The Particle Physics Division’s Alignment Group is using the lab’s beneficial occupancy to create a magnet alignment network inside the Muon Delivery Ring and the new beamline enclosures. The Accelerator Division is installing equipment, such as vacuum components, instrumentation cables, beamline magnets and water cooling systems. This work is beginning now and will continue for more than a year with many other divisions at Fermilab.
“It’s a lot of coordination between divisions, and it’s turning into a one-lab type of mentality,” said Consolato Gattuso, the Accelerator Division summer shutdown manager and Muon Campus installation coordinator.
The amount of time and effort that goes into constructing facilities like the Muon Campus can be daunting, Gattuso said. So the construction and installation crews manage their time wisely by planning and tackling each task in bite-sized pieces, keeping them on schedule. But challenges are also bound to arise from many areas in the construction process, since there are multiple, smaller facets to the project.
The Mu2e building, for example, has many underground spaces, with ceilings as high as 20 feet, that must fit the 80-foot long, S-shaped Mu2e detector and supporting infrastructure.
“The complex geometry of detailing and designing all the corners and walls, where everything comes together, creates a unique construction challenge for everybody involved,” Hamernik said.
For Gattuso, the biggest challenge, besides the construction itself, may be planning and scheduling everyone’s tasks.
“It’s not just having specialized people doing their work, but also knowing the appropriate pace we need to maintain to stay on schedule,” Gattuso said. “There’s a lot of shuffling that happens when we’re talking magnets that weigh somewhere between as little as 600 pounds and as much as 20 tons.”
Although there is plenty work yet to be done, Fermilab benefits from having a wealth of existing inventory to draw from. For example, the former Antiproton Source (now the Muon Delivery Ring) and approximately 300 of the lab’s magnets are being repurposed for the two muon experiments.
Construction and beneficial occupancy work are a part of the natural progression of building and innovating, Convery said, where innovation lies in gaining a firmer hold of fleeting particles such as muons.
“Both experiments will be able to reach higher precision thanks to the new facilities and improved beam delivery that the Muon Campus provides,” she said. “We wouldn’t have these facilities if it weren’t for the many people who came together to make this a reality.”
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Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.