Engineers and technicians in the North West have started production of a key piece of equipment for a major international science experiment.
The UK government has invested £65 million in the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) hosted by Fermilab in the US. It will study elusive neutrinos in a bid to advance our understanding of the origin and structure of the Universe.
As part of this investment, the UK is delivering a series of vital detector components. The components are being built at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory, located at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region.
Scientists will capture the neutrinos in detectors containing 17,000 tons of liquid argon.
The tiny electrical signals of neutrino interactions will be read out by Anode Plane Assemblies (APA). APAs are huge rectangular planes covered with thousands of copper-beryllium wires, about the width of a human hair.
Each APA stands at an impressive 2.3m by 6.3m – making them the largest individual components for DUNE, and they have to be built with millimetre precision.
Daresbury Laboratory, with its university partners in the North West, will ultimately produce 150 APAs for DUNE.
To meet this need, a large purpose-built APA factory was created at Daresbury inside a former accelerator hall, and 20 specific jobs were created for this task.
The Daresbury team has now started the production of the first APA for ProtoDUNE-II.
The high-precision APAs will first undergo cryogenic testing in the ProtoDUNE-II detector at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), before the full set of APAs for DUNE are built. The process will take several years to complete.
Executive Chair of STFC Professor Mark Thomson, said:
Physicists from the universities of Liverpool and Manchester provide the scientific leadership of the project.
DUNE spokesperson Professor Stefan Soldner-Rembold, of the University of Manchester said:
The excavations of the underground facilities in South Dakota have recently started, and Professor Soldner-Rembold added:
Source: UK Research and Innovation.
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