Technical Centers Department prepares for the future
Rick Ford, head of the Technical Centers Department, wrote this week's column.
|Juan Estrada and Rick Ford
In early summer, I became the department head for the Particle Physics Divison's Technical Centers department; Juan Estrada became deputy head. Tech Centers provides expertise and support to build the extraordinary detectors required for discoveries in particle physics. The department is also responsible for the alignment of Fermilab accelerators and beamlines.
Tech Centers comprises the following groups: alignment and metrology, thin films, scintillator detector, machine development and maintenance, carbon fiber, detector support, TV and the silicon detector center.
Scientists and engineers not just from Fermilab but from projects across the world use Tech Centers facilities. As Fermilab transitions to the post-Tevatron era, Juan and I, along with John Krider, the head of SiDet, are committed to further strengthen Fermilab's role as a world-class detector development facility supporting a wide range of particle physics projects.
SiDet staff and facilities, for example, are at the heart of R&D and production for the Dark Energy Camera, a 500-megapixel, wide-field imager using charge-coupled devices. Applied to the DECam project, Tech Centers' detector expertise established Fermilab as a leading laboratory for astronomical instrumentation.
Thanks to DECam, Tech Centers now features a powerful CCD characterization laboratory and packaging facility, valuable tools for future large astronomical instruments. This combined with our silicon photomultiplier and phototube characterization facility confers impressive photon-detection capabilities with applications from precision calorimetry to medical physics.
The alignment and metrology group recently obtained a state-of-the-art laser scanner for the NOvA project. We will use it to determine the exact location of the surface points of each extrusion plane in the gigantic NOvA far detector. The potential uses of such devices-are enormous.
To learn more about emerging detector technologies, drop by this week's Detector R&D Workshop.