Power Electronics

Rad-Hard Supply Will Power Giant Particle Detector

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland, has engaged AEi Systems to design and develop a radiation-hard power supply for CERN’s giant ATLAS particle detector. The power supply for ATLAS is located close to the front-end crate of its liquid-argon calorimeters, and therefore the power supply will have to perform in one of the most challenging environments on Earth, facing high radiation (up to 100 krads), single-event radiation effects (hadrons with E >10 MeV), and a large magnetic field (300 Gauss). Despite these challenges, AEi Systems, together with Algen Design Services, a specialty electronics manufacturer, was able to provide a high-grade solution that uses less expensive off-the-shelf parts through application of unique design concepts and topologies, along with careful component selection supported by radiation testing.

The contract for the power supply was awarded by the United States Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, which heads the United States ATLAS collaboration. AEi Systems collaborated with Algen Design Services to win the design project. The ATLAS experiment at the LHC will take place in a unit the size of a seven-story building, and will cause protons to collide in and near the ATLAS particle detector at record energies of 7 TeV per proton. The LHC will be the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator when it begins anticipated operations in 2008.

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