Fermilab Accelerator Division demonstrates Booster Neutrino Beamline operations

After five months of repairing and retooling the Booster Neutrino Beamline (BNB), members of the Accelerator Division at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory successfully delivered beam to the BNB on June 22. The previous horn, BNB-2, was found to be inoperable in January when it was determined its cooling was no longer working adequately. A new horn, BNB-3, was installed, and beam returned last week.

Not only was the horn cooling working poorly, but also the equipment to move the horn into and out of place, the adjuster platform, would no longer operate, as it had been designed for a very short, few-year run but had been in use for 13 years. A team in the Target Systems Department led by Kris Anderson rapidly devised, fabricated, installed and operated a new adjuster platform. They also developed a procedure to remove the BNB-2 horn, bypassing the inoperative adjuster platform. Finally, they put in place a new procedure to remove the original platform itself, which had been built in-place.

The BNB was scheduled to continue to operate until the accelerator shutdown on July 4. After the shutdown ends in October, it will provide beam for a three-year run of the MicroBooNE experiment. In the long term, members of the Accelerator and Neutrino divisions are developing plans to modify the BNB to provide a more intense beam for the Short-Baseline Neutrino program.

The target hall operation required rapid innovation, often on the spot, to deal with devices that had not been designed for this work. The lab congratulated the Accelerator Division on this challenging operation and the return of the neutrino beam.