Saturday, February 13, 2010

Towards the longest run in CERN’s history

Site of the day:

Following the decisions taken at the Chamonix meeting, the teams are preparing the LHC to run at collision energies of 7 TeV during the coming 18-24 months. The consolidation of the nQPS connectors has been successfully completed and the magnet powering at high current has begun.

Since the last issue of the Bulletin, all of the approximately 4000 high-voltage electrical connectors of the new Quench Protection System (nQPS) have been replaced in record time. Teams are now upgrading the software on some of the electronic circuit boards. This work is already complete in half the machine.

At the same time, the Hardware Commissioning group has started to power up the magnets in all the sectors. This is a lengthy process that involves gradually increasing the current to reach the 6 kA needed to steer beams at an energy of 3.5 TeV/beam. Currently, all the sectors have passed the tests at low current, and Sectors 1-2 has been successfully tested at 5 kA.

Over the coming days, the teams plan to power all the sectors to high current in order to make them ready for “machine check-out” – the process that prepares the machine for beam operation. According to the present schedule, beams should be circulating again in the LHC towards the end of February.


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