CERN Accelerating science

by Marta Bajko (CERN) and Panos Charitos (CERN)  

Overview of CERN's Large Magnet Hall (Image Credit@CERN)

Within the HL-LHC project about 100 superconducting magnets will be produced in the next years up to 2024. Magnets of different type and size will use NbTi or Nb3Sn technology. The design of the superconducting magnets is well advanced at CERN, and other collaborating institutes and for most of them plan to build a model and a prototype magnet during the period 2016-2018. From13-14th of June CERN hosted the 1st International Workshop on Superconducting Magnet Test Facilities where the status of different facilities was presented along with the needed steps to meet the needs and the rising interest on superconductors.

For the design of new high-field magnets for HL-LHC and for the scenarios explored under the FCC study, there are several institutes together with CERN. working on the testing of the models, prototypes and even the series magnets. Some institutes are equipped with adequate infrastructure while others are completing their installations during the next coming years.

The test of a superconducting magnets is part of the QA process to assess the soundness of the construction and the suitability for machine operation. In addition, tests are important also during construction/building of magnets, as an integral part of the construction chain. One has to get timely feedback  to take corrective actions during the construction process. In that sense test is a key milestone for triggering acceptance and passage of responsibility between firms and institutes (in case of industrial orders) or among institutes (in the case of in-kind contribution). For the readiness of the test stands and for achieving a a good coherence between the facilities and planned test, it is essential to coordinate the activities with the magnet production managed by WP3, WP6 and WP11 of HL LHC (MSC group at CERN and collaborating Institutes).

The SMTS Workshop contributes to the above mentioned coordination and assessment of the needs and readiness. The main goal of the SMTS workshop is to verify that all test stand will be ready in time and able to perform measurements that will meet the HL-LHC standards. Through regular meetings we to create an active network between the test stands allowing them to exchange methods, techniques, and experience on equipment, data and finally expertise when and where needed. Presently test stations for the HL-LHC magnets exist in the following laboratories: FNAL (USA), BNL (USA), CERN (Switzerland), KEK (Japan), KEK (Japan), CEA Saclary (France), Freia (Sweded), INFN (Milano), LBNL (USA) and Nafassy (Italy) 

Most of the test stands for superconducting magnets are in collaboration with CERN for the HL-LHC project but we would like to welcome those working in this area as well independently if they will or not test magnets for HL-LHC or future collider projects. Therefore the above mentioned list has been extended and now also includes GSI (Germany), PSI (Switzerland), JINR (Russia). 

This workshop provided a forum for potential users of the Trans National Accesses (TNA) supported by FP7 Eucard2 project and Aries (presently under evaluation). More than 60 participants were registered for the one and a half days of presentations followed by an interactive visit to  CERN test facility in SM18. OnAt that occasion 20 experts, mainly from CERN, were sharing their knowledge with the workshop participants during 2 h.


Further events will cover subjects linked to specified areas of measurements as magnetic or mechanical measurements while protection and detection systems will also be treated in detail. The connection to the final IT STRING test will be covered, too. The safety and the interlock systems used by the different test stands will be presented with the goal to optimise the stands and improve where possible the safety of the personnel and the equipment.