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CERN Accelerating science

LHCb gears up for Run2

by Rolf Lindner: Technical Coordinator, LHCb experiment

It is now 18 months that LHCb has not seen any particle beam passing through the experimental area, and the collaboration is eagerly waiting for the start-up of Run II in spring 2015. But before this, the LHCb detector and all its services required a comprehensive overhaul in preparation for the next three years’ data taking.

In 2014, a detailed field measurement of the LHCb dipole has been performed during the summer months, taking advantage of the free space inside the magnet as the beam pipe with all its supports were removed. The preparation of the measurement started already early in the year and thanks to the continuous support by the PH/DT group the LHCb Technical Coordination team together with EN/MEF/SU has successfully recorded a field map of the dipole. The data will be analysed now and should further improve the track reconstruction in LHCb.

Installed Beam pipe, inside the LHCb dipole and between RICH 1 and RICH 2

In September the re-installation of the beam pipe followed. Once the new and lighter support structures for the beam pipe had been put in place and surveyed by the group EN/MEF/SU, the installation went very smoothly. The first beam section had been kept in place over the whole shut down period and the connection between this and the re-installed part had to be very fast and made with utmost caution to avoid any damage to the flanges while keeping impurities at a minimum in the whole vacuum system. The entire project went like clockwork under the lead of the group TE/VSC.

With the beam pipe in place, all sub detectors were closed and the beam pipe pumped down to the required vacuum, ready for first beam knocking at the LHC door, the TED beam stopper at the downstream side of LHCb. This allowed LHCb to successfully ‘pre-commission’ the experiment with a large number of muons entering the cavern and to collect data for detector studies after the numerous maintenance and consolidation work in all areas during the LS1.

Preparation of the magnetic field measurement inside the LHCb dipole

Before collisions in the LHC resume in spring 2015, some minor interventions on the sub systems are still to be completed. The HeRSCheL detector, a forward shower counter supporting Central Exclusive Production physics at LHCb, requires some final installation and connectivity work (see the related video here). For the RICH detector the exchange of a few Hybrid Photon Detectors (HPD) is scheduled as late as possible, just before the closure of the cavern.

As the end of LS1 is in reach and the work in the experimental cavern decreases gradually, some of the activities will focus more on the preparation of the LHCb upgrade. Optical fibres for the data transmission were blown in micro tubes from the underground area to the surface over 300 m for the first time. This installation will serve as a test bed verifying that the fibres in their final configuration meet the required specification for the upgrade. This project has been performed in close collaboration with EN/EL/CF, EN/MEF and GS. The preparation of the infrastructure and services for the upgrade has to be pursued with utmost diligence ensuring an installation of the upgrade within the 18 month of LS2, in less than four years from now. R&D for the sub systems will conclude within the next months and Engineering Design Reviews for several detectors have started already.

Beam pipe, a delicate task; connecting the first section to the downstream part

For the moment, the LHCb collaboration is looking forward in anticipation to the re-restart of the LHC accelerator and is ready for any exciting physics that is awaiting us.