MINOS Document 1690-v1

Accelerator Systems and Instrumentation for the NuMI Neutrino Beam

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Bob Zwaska
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Bob Zwaska
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29 Mar 2006, 18:49
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29 Mar 2006, 18:49
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29 Mar 2006, 18:49
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The Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI)
neutrino beam facility began operating
at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
in 2005. NuMI produces an intense, muon-neutrino beam
to a number of experiments.
Foremost of these experiments is MINOS -- the Main Injector Neutrino
Oscillation Search -- that uses two neutrino detectors in the beam,
one at Fermilab and one in northern Minnesota, to investigate the
phenomenon of neutrino oscillations.

NuMI is a conventional, horn-focused neutrino beam. It is designed
to accept a 400~kW, 120~GeV proton beam from the Fermilab Main
Injector accelerator. The proton beam is steered onto a target,
producing a secondary beam of mesons which are
focused into a long evacuated volume where they
decay to muons and neutrinos. Pulsed
toroidal magnets (horns) focus an adjustable
meson momentum range. Design of the beamline and its components
is challenged by the 400~kW average proton beam power.

To achieve such high proton power, the Fermilab Main Injector (MI)
must store and accelerate $\sim$ 4$\times10^{13}$ protons per
acceleration cycle. This requires the MI to be loaded with 6
or more batches of protons from the 8~GeV Booster accelerator.
Such multiple-batch injection involves a synchronization of the
two machines not previously required by the Fermilab accelerators.
In this dissertation, we investigate timing errors that can arise
between the two accelerators, and a
feedback system which enables multiple Booster transfers into the
Main Injector without significant loss of beam. Using this method of
synchronous transfer, the Main Injector has delivered as many
as 3$\times10^{13}$ protons per pulse to the NuMI beam.

The instrumentation to asses the quality of the neutrino beam
includes arrays of radiation-tolerant ionization chambers downstream
of the decay volume. These arrays detect the remnant hadrons and
tertiary muons produced with the neutrinos. This thesis discusses
measurements using the arrays, including diagnostics of potential
beam errors and initial alignment of the beamline elements.
In addition, we describe theoretical calculations and experimental
tests which demonstrate that the ionization chambers can withstand
the intense particle fluxes in the beamline without signal loss
due to space-charge build up in the detectors.

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