Berkeley Lab

HL-LHC AUP Recommended for CD-3

A DOE Review of the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project (AUP) was held (virtually) November 22-24, 2020. The conclusion, as we await the reviewers’ formal report, is that the AUP is recommended for CD-3, the Approval of Start of Construction milestone in the progression of Critical Decisions in a DOE project.

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN will begin a two-and-a-half-year upgrade around 2023, during their third long scheduled shutdown (LS3), to boost the beam’s luminosity and thus the rate of particle collisions. The expertise at the Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology is key to the US contributions to the AUP, an essential component of which is the design and construction of advanced and powerful focusing magnets.

Team picture in front of assembled HL-LHC AUP quadrupole magnet

HL-LHC AUP quadrupole magnet

Berkeley Lab’s contributions, through its Superconducting Magnet Program/Berkeley Center for Magnet Technology (SMP/BCMT), include 104 superconducting wire cables to be used in the magnets; the insulation of the cables; and the assembly of 25 four-meter-long quadrupole magnets designated (MQXFA) that will focus the LHC’s particle beams. The AUP is delivering two of the complete inner-triplet cryoassemblies, designated Q1 and Q3, and 23 magnets in all. CERN is completing the third cryoassembly, Q2a and b.

“The team is to be highly commended”

The Magnets subcommittee commented that “The project team is to be highly commended for the progress made to date. Significant developments were made since the January 2020 OPA Review,” and added, “The management and technical team across FNAL, BNL and LBNL should be commended on such progress.”

Managerial as well as technical excellence is essential to a program like the HL-LHC AUP, which involves five US national labs and a university, each bringing its particular strengths to the technical challenges — and whose products must mesh with the overall High-Luminosity Upgrade at CERN. The reviewers noted that “The interaction between the project and CERN concerning CERN-produced parts appears to be functioning well” and that “The level of QA actions is commendable.”

The reports will next go to the Energy Sciences Acquisition Adviory Board (ESAAB).