New NOvA building pops up almost overnight
|The NOvA Near-Detector surface building is being constructed next to the MINOS surface building. Photo courtesy of Tim Trout of FESS. To watch a time-lapse video of the construction, go to Fermilab's YouTube site.
The curvy MINOS surface building at Fermilab has a new neighbor. The new neutrino experiment in town recently moved in right next door.
Ward Commercial Construction Inc. of East Dundee began building the foundation for the NOvA Near-Detector surface building in late December, but putting up the prefabricated wall panels took only two days.
The NOvA collaboration will construct two detectors in the path of a beam of neutrinos generated at Fermilab. The near detector will gather data on-site at Fermilab, and the far detector will study the beam in Ash River, Minn., at a laboratory of the University of Minnesota's School of Physics and Astronomy.
The base of the new building measures 72 by 35 feet, and it stands about 37 feet high. It will house the NOvA Near Detector during its year-long trial
run, before the detector moves 330 feet underground into a hall below the
The NOvA collaboration plans to outfit the surface building with heat, lights, ventilation and structural steel and be ready to take data on July 12, said John Cooper, NOvA project manager at Fermilab.
The collaboration members have worked to match the design of the near detector as closely as possible to that of the far detector - except that the near detector will weigh 220 tons, just over 1 percent of the heft of the 14,000-ton far detector.
"This is like one tiny corner of the far detector," said Steve Dixon of the Fermilab Engineering Services Section.
The collaboration placed the near-detector surface building near the MINOS building to skim neutrinos from the NuMI and Booster beams. The detector will not sit directly in the path of either beam but should see a couple of thousand interactions and also will collect data from cosmic rays, Cooper said.
-- Kathryn Grim