The Minnesota MINOS group played an important role in numerous areas of the NuMI/MINOS design, construction, and commissioning.
Minnesota was involved in much of the MINOS hardware design, fabrication, and installation. Most notably, Minnesota hosted a scintillator factory, participated in the steel and scintillator module design, and supplied a large fraction of the labor for installation.
Scintillator and Module Factory
MINOS employed three module factories to manufacture the active detector components, one located at Caltech, one at Argonne, and one at the University of Minnesota.
- The module factory occupied roughly 7,600 square feet of warehouse space
near the border of Minneapolis and St. Paul. At peak operation, the factory
employed three full time workers and a throng of part time and student labor.
The following links provide a rough outline of the assembly life of a module.
The cover table
The vacant table in the foreground of this image is where modules began their journey. To begin, a sheet of aluminum would be laid out and cut to shape. Next, scintillator strips were glued onto this skin, along with guides for the optical cables used to collect light from the scintillator. The modules would then move on to the gluing machine.
The fiber gluing machine
The gluing machine would, in one pass, lay an optical cable in the groove of the scintillator, epoxy it in place, and lay a piece of silver tape over the groove as a light seal.
An open module
This image shows a module partway through assembly. The scintillator strips are fixed to the aluminum skin, the fibers are in place, and it is ready to move on to the crimping table.
The crimping table
The crimping table had a series of tilted rollers used to attach the upper aluminum skin to the module. To do so, the rollers would fold together the edges of the upper and lower skins. Each successive roller was tilted slightly more than the previous one and, by the last roller, the crimping table could make a full crimp in the aluminum.
The vacuum table
The vacuum table, shown just to the right of the numbered wood boxes, was the final stop for modules in their assembly. The modules were kept under vacuum for several days while the epoxy cured. After the epoxy hardened, they would be moved on to the mapping table.
- The cover table
- The module mapper and accompanying radiation cage were noteworthy occupants of the module factories and the MINOS lab. The mappers were used to verify that the scintillator modules were manufactured properly, to map out their performance and response, and to check that no damage occurred during transit from the factory to the lab.
- Tom Chase, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, was heavily involved in the design of many MINOS components and factory machinery. His web page, located here, has a lot of information on his design work.
The entire mine crew, who were responsible for assembling the MINOS detector, and the Minnesota postdocs and grad students, who were a continuous presence during the entire assembly and commissioning period, played an indispensable role in making MINOS a reality.
- Each MINOS plane consists of a one inch thick octagonal steel sheet with eight scintillator modules affixed. The picture shown here displays a scintillator module being welded to the steel.
Several Minnesota collaborators are members of the MINOS core software group, and Minnesota also boasts numerous physicist programmers.
Hugh Gallagher, a former Minnesota graduate student and postdoc, is one of the primary developers of Neugen (Neutrino Event Generator), a core component of the MINOS Monte Carlo framework.
Pete Border focused on database design and development.
Minnesota has numerous graduate students, and their analysis topics run the gamut of neutrino physics.
- Bernard Becker: CPT violation in neutrino and antineutrino oscillation.
- Jeremy Gogos: muon to tau oscillation parameters using atmospheric neutrinos.
- Aftabur Rahman: upward going muons.
- Benjamin Speakman: muon to electron subdominant neutrino oscillations.
- And more...