Operational Results with Fast Automatic Beam-Based LHC Collimator Alignment

Authors: Gianluca Valentino, Ralph W. Assmann, Roderik Bruce, Stefano Redaelli, Belen Salvachua, Nicholas Sammut, Daniel Wollmann

Corresponding: Gianluca Valentino (gianluca.valentino@cern.ch)

Keywords: Large Hadron Collider, Collimation system, Collimator alignment, Intelligent automation, Operational results

Doi: http://dx.medra.org/10.7423/XJENZA.2013.2.01

Issue: Xjenza Online Vol. 1 Iss. 2 - October 2013

The CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest and highest-energy particle accelerator ever built. It is designed to collide particles at a centre-of-mass energy of 14 TeV to explore the fundamental forces and constituents of matter. Due to the potentially destructive high-energy particle beams, with a total design energy of 362 MJ, the collider is equipped with a series of machine protection systems. The beam cleaning or collimation system is designed to passively intercept and absorb particles at large amplitudes. The cleaning eciency depends heavily on the accurate positioning of the jaws with respect to the beam trajectory. Beam-based collimator alignment is currently the only feasible technique that can be used to determine the beam centre and beam size at the collimator locations. If the alignment is performed without any automation, it can require up to 30 hours to complete for all collimators. This reduces the beam time available for physics experiments. This article provides a brief recap of the algorithms and software developed to automate and speed up the alignment procedure, and presents the operational results achieved with fast automatic beam-based alignment in the 2011- 2013 LHC runs.

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