Cooperation between FAIR and NICA:

Test facility for superconducting accelerator magnets goes into operation in Russia

Delegation from FAIR at Dubna (Photo: JINR)

A facility for testing superconducting magnets for the two future accelerator centers FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) and NICA (Nuclotron-based Ion Collider fAcility) in Dubna, Russia has been put into operation with a festive ceremony. FAIR is currently being built in Darmstadt at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, while NICA is being constructed in Dubna at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). The ceremony was attended by a delegation from FAIR, consisting of project manager Dr. Jürgen Henschel and the heads of the SIS100/SIS18 sub-project, Dr. Peter Spiller and Dr. Carsten Omet. Together with the management of the NICA project, the delegation members put the new facility into operation.


JINR and GSI shared the costs of building the facility. The new facility has three connections on each side for testing magnets at extremely low temperatures. The connections on one side are for the series of booster and collider magnets for NICA and those on the other are for the series of quadrupole units for the FAIR accelerator ring SIS100. The test facility can produce helium at a temperature of 4.5 K (i.e. 4.5 degrees Celsius above absolute zero at around -273 °C) and supply it to each individual test piece. German companies made a major contribution to the facility’s construction. Among them was the firm ILK from Dresden, which manufactured the satellite cooling units.


Considerable progress was also made in technical and administrative talks held after the ceremony regarding the construction of the SIS100 quadrupole units at JINR. In particular, they fully clarified the scope of the work for production-related activities and the cryogenic tests of the first two SIS100 quadrupole units. The decisions were incorporated into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and an addendum to the existing contract for the test facility’s construction.


This specifies that the first two (“first of series” — FOS) of the SIS100 quadrupole units will be built, cryogenically tested, and delivered to GSI for incorporation into an FOS module by mid-2017. The first of these quadrupole magnets is almost finished and it was available for inspection by the GSI delegation. The contract also covers the construction of various measuring instruments that are needed for inspecting the magnetic field and the electrical and hydraulic properties of the quadrupole units. The associated technical coordination measures are very detailed and were continued over a period of several days. The GSI department for superconducting magnet technology also visited the Russian facility, where it was represented by a five-member team of experts headed by work package manager Dr. Egbert Fischer.

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