Recovery Act funds two new cryostats
|Joe Ozelis, area leader for test cavity facilities, is working with a 9-cell cavity in the vertical test stand. The addition of two new cryostats will more than triple the capacity of the facilities.
A local company, Ability Engineering Technology Inc., is building two cryostats for Fermilab with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"This has been a good project for us," said Eugene Botsoe, Ability president and owner. "It's allowed us to keep several people on payroll that might not have been able to stay here otherwise. In fact, because we are involved with multiple jobs at Fermilab at the moment, we've been able to bring back several people."
The small company, based in South Holland, Ill., has worked with Fermilab for more than 20 years.
Each 20-foot-long cryostat costs approximately $142,000, and the pair will be used to test superconducting radio-frequency cavities in Industrial Building 1's vertical cavity test facility.
"This funding is helping to fast track these facilities for the higher testing capacity required by potential Fermilab projects like Project X," said Joe Ozelis, cavity test area leader for the Technical Division's Test and Instrumentation Department. "This is moving us closer to meeting goals for the lab's future."
SRF cavities must withstand very high electric fields in order to accelerate particles. However, their superconducting abilities require temperatures close to absolute zero. To measure the performance of these cavities, technicians place them in a vertical test stand, which includes a cryostat. The cryostat acts like a thermos: the cavity is placed in the cryostat's inner chamber, which is filled with liquid helium and tested at a temperature between 1.5 and 2 Kelvin.
Currently, the vertical test stand facilities include a 3-year-old cryostat that can test a pair of nine-cell SRF cavities each week. The additional two cryostats will more than triple the capacity of the facilities. This will allow the test facility to support the proposed Project X requirements and continue research and development of SRF cavities at the laboratory.
-- Daisy Yuhas