Message from Alain Blondel¶
we are coming out of the board marathon.
7-8 May Resource Loaded Schedule Review (RSLR)
9 May MICE project board (our slides can be found here
https://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=249272 ) and today the Funding Agency Committee
The MICE collaborators have done a tremendous amount of preparation for this and I think it went quite well.
I enclose the reports that Ian Robson (chair of the RLSR) and Steve Peggs (chair of the MPB) gave to the funding agency, as well as my 'open' summary.
As you will see, the appreciations are positive but the homework is very significant!
Thank you all again for the enthusiasm and hard work
The reports refered to can be found at
The dates for the EMR run are 15 July - 8 August.
We will need a significant number of people to run shifts in this period.
The revised MICE rules means that people cannot take shifts without been trained.
Details of training and signup will be announced shortly.
Spectrometer Solenoid update (23 February)¶
Yesterday was a good day. SS2 reached a new high current value to date.
There was a trip earlier in the day due to the welder turning on his equipment. We recovered
from the quench and immediately began another training run. In the end we had:
A normal quench ended the run. We are now 10A from the peak value and only 5A from
the Flip mode values where we will hold the current for 24 hours. We have sufficient He
for 4 more quenches, so this will not be a bottleneck. Perhaps today will be the day.
Date of the second update is February 19th and not 1th
Polishing and testing of EMR scintillator bars have been completed.
There are 3300 bars, so 6600 bar connectors have been polished
Spectrometer Solenoid February 7th¶
The magnet training continued last weekend and through this week. A total of six training runs have
been successfully completed in this series. There have have been several system trips as well that do not
represent magnet training quenches. The source of these issues have been thoroughly investigated, and hardware
and procedural fixes have been implemented. The last three training runs have been carried out with a fully
functional system with no significant problems.
The fully integrated power supply system using the three 300-amp supplies along with the two 60-amp trim
supplies was used during these runs. Currents that are 2% higher than the flip mode currents were set
as the targets in the control system, with the ramp rates scaled proportionately. The currents reached in the last
quench (C=223A, M1=225A, M2=213A, E2=199A, E1=187A) are approximately 79% of the target
values. The HTS lead voltages have all been in the noise level during the recent training, indicating no problems.
Approximately 2700 liters of LHe remains on hand (enough for 5 to 6 additional quenches).
Training is planned to continue tomorrow (Saturday), Monday and into next week.
Spectrometer Solenoid February 1th¶
Two additional magnet training runs have been completed since the last update (one Saturday, and one today).
A total of eight training runs have now been successfully completed in this series. A problem with
control system trips (at very low current) prevented a training run from being completed yesterday.
It appears that the trips may have been triggered by power line noise, originating within the Wang facility or
elsewhere. This issue is being investigated further. During today's successful run, no arc welding was
allowed within the Wang building while the magnet was energized in order to minimize the possibility of a
The currents reached in the last quench (C=242A, M1=233A, M2=244A, E2=216A, E1=203A) are approximately 86% of
the target values. Approximately 1700 liters of LHe remains on hand (enough for 3 to 4 additional quenches).
Training is planned to continue tomorrow (Wednesday).
Additional details can be found on the elog at:
http://micewww.pp.rl.ac.uk/elog under the 'SS-testing' section.
Here's an update on the progress on the Spectrometer Solenoid as we
begin the cooldown in preparation for resuming the training:
After assessing the issue with the magnet control system and coming up
with a series of proposed improvements, a review was held on December
11th and 12th, 2012 at LBNL. Based on the system assessment and the
committee recommendations, several enhancements have been incorporated.
The cooldown of the magnet began earlier today and will continue 24
hours/day until Friday evening when it is expected that the cold mass
will be at 4K and full of LHe. A group from Daresbury Lab will arrive
at Wang NMR on Thursday (1/31) and Pierrick Hanlet on Friday to make
final modifications to the system and to confirm the proper operation
with the magnet cold and during initial training runs.
Several modifications were also made to the magnet power supply system,
including purchasing a new 300 amp supply for the center coil and the
addition of current measuring shunts. Off line tests of the system will
continue this week with low current tests into the magnet starting next
On Monday, Linda Coney and Maria Leonova will arrive for an extended
stay to learn the operation of the system and to assist with the
training runs. Other MICE and LBNL personnel are expected to assist at
various times as well. On Tuesday, Roman Pilipenko will arrive at Wang
NMR to confirm the proper setup and operation of the quench protection
system and to provide training on the system for several MICE team members.
Assuming all systems are fully operational, the first training run will
likely take place on Wednesday of next week. We hope to carry out one
run per day from then on, including weekends. This schedule will depend
on a continuous supply of LHe (~3500 liters/week). An elog will be
available at: http://micewww.pp.rl.ac.uk/elog under the 'SS-testing'
News from the run¶
The week started with subsystem shakedown and preparations for the
weekend run: beamline magnets (Henry N, YT), DAQ (Yordan K), MAUS online
reconstruction (Chris R), neutron monitor readout (Ian Taylor).
A shifter training session was held on Thursday, Dec 13 and continued
with on-the-job training during the run on Friday and a brush-up session
for some on Saturday. The students included a first-timer, Celeste
Pidcott from Warwick, as well as several veterans who needed
re-qualification under the new training regime: David Adey, Craig
Macwaters, Chris Rogers, Paul Smith and Yagmur Torun. They were taught
by an all-star cast including David Adey (DAQ), Craig Macwaters (PPS),
Chris Rogers (online reconstruction), Paul Smith (target) and Henry
Nebrensky (everything else, and then some). Also, 2 BLOCs (Adam Dobbs
and Paul Smith) were brought up-to-date and a new one (YT) trained by
Henry in parallel.
The run start-up crew on Friday, Dec 14 looked like this: Adam Dobbs
(lead shifter), Celeste Pidcott (shifter), Chris Rogers (SOC, shifter),
Paul Smith (BLOC, shifter), YT (MOM), Henry Nebrensky (technical,
spiritual and menu advisor). ISIS initially had some difficulty
establishing the MICE beam bump and there was also some down time in the
afternoon. One of the MICE beamline magnets (Q4) tripped several times
throughout the day. Some of the controls and online monitoring weren't
available and we had problems with the DAQ that were debugged with
Yordan on the phone. All other subsystems performed well.
We had a crew lined up for Saturday, Dec 15 (Adey, Nebrensky, Smith, YT)
but decided to cancel the run due to DAQ issues that could not be
resolved remotely on Friday. ISIS beam went down at 8:15 AM and wasn't
back until past 8:30 PM because of problems with the ion source, power
supplies and one of the RF systems. Therefore, there would have been no
window for taking data during the shift period anyway. Instead, we were
able to fit in some training, magnet testing, controls work and chatting
with the spokesmouse.
Various broken controls (EPICS client/server launcher menus, GVA/CKOV
HV, neutron monitor readout) were working again on Saturday shortly
after Pierrick Hanlet walked in and started typing furiously on
keyboards on the controls side of the room.
News from the hall¶
The decay solenoid is still off pending replacement of the compressor.
Mike Courthold has inspected the compressor and confirmed the oil leak
at the suspected location (bearing).
A/C units are off but they are not needed until the DS fridge is running
again. There was a leak in one of the refrigerant lines that will need
repair. The trench was tested with an oxygen monitor to ensure there was
no build-up of heavy refrigerant gas.
Spectrometer solenoid support frames are on the floor with one already
rigged into place and the other to be installed soon.
Power Cut and aftermath¶
On late Wednesday morning there was a major power cut at the RAL site.
- The MICE Hall wasn't affected too badly, although some of the crates
and servers in the MLCR rebooted or locked up. We believe that the
Controls and Monitoring is now working again, but the DAQ is still
inoperative and requires remote expert attention.
- The web service servers (MICEmine, ConfigDB, etc.) in PPD were offline
until late Thursday afternoon. There was significant disruption to the
underlying network services in R1 that wasn't resolved until Thursday
lunchtime, after which we could start bringing the systems back online.
Disruption from the power cut meant that on Friday we couldn't take
cosmic data to test the repaired Online Reconstruction as planned;
- however we were able to carry out our second activity and ran Q4
continuously for over six hours without any of the "Earth Leakage" trips
that have been bothering us the past few running periods. If we can have
another successful test run then we may have some confidence that the
issue has been resolved.
- With Pierrick's transatlantic help we also got the HV controls back
online - we are thus hopefully prepared for another cosmic test as soon
as the DAQ is ready.
Note that the miceecserv2 server had an onboard voltage regulator
damaged by the power cut - this will be replaced under warranty on
Monday afternoon UK time; the machine will therefore be shutdown for
some time then.
On 31 October we had the MPB tour the MICE Hall . This was followed on
1 Nov by an OPB tour, when staff from other parts of RAL came to see MICE
and ask us what it all does!
- the Neutron Monitor has had its annual test
- the cooling water de-ionising cylinder has been replaced, and water
conductivity has fallen to about 10% of its previous value; we hope this
is what was causing the Q4 trips.
- we've not been able to fit in a survey during this short shutdown - we
hope to schedule one in early January, to finally find out where TOF0 is!
After a long gestation period, a paper on the design, construction and
performance of the MICE Target is now available as MICE Note 392. It
will be submitted to the Journal of Instrumentation and the arXiv in the
next few days
The first Focus and Absorber Coil Magnet has arrived at RAL ready for integration on to the test stand and beginning of the test programme.
Here's today's update on the Spectrometer Solenoid training:
Two additional training runs were carried out today using the 3 power supplies in manual mode. The details of the two training quenches, which both initiated in the E2 coil, are as follows:
M1=195 A, M2=235 A, E1/C/E2=235 A, quench propagation duration: 7.4 s
M1=201 A, M2=242 A, E1/C/E2=242 A, quench propagation duration: 7.0 s Note that the last quench currents represent approximately 90% of the operating current of the magnet at 240 MeV/c.
Both quenches appeared to be normal training. I added today's data points to the previous plot. The power supplies and fast DAQ/quench system all functioned as expected. The magnet was cooled back down and partially refilled with the last of the LHe on hand. The coils were all ramped to 10 A with no problems observed. Training will resume once the next shipment of LHe arrives.
A helium delivery of 1500 litres arrived yesterday. The cold mass was topped off and allowed to stabilize overnight. A training run was
carried out today using the 3 power supplies in manual mode. The training quench, which again initiated in the E2 coil, occurred at the
following currents: M1=205 A, M2=247 A, E1/C/E2=247 A and appeared to be normal training. The quench propagated from E2 through the other coils in
sequence over a 6.8 second period. The power supplies and fast DAQ/quench system all functioned as expected. The magnet was cooled
back down and refilled with LHe. The coils were all ramped to 10 A with no problems observed. The next training run is planned for tomorrow .
US MICE physicists funded by the National Science Foundation have submitted a White Paper to the NSF outlining our goals for a three-year proposal to be submitted by the end of September.
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