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Queen's Particle Astrophysics - Research Resources

The Queen's Particle Astrophysics group has the following technical resources and personnel which are available to the subatomic physics community in Canada via the NSERC Major Resources Support Grant (MRS) program.

Questions about the Queen's resources should be directed to Tony Noble (potato@snolab.ca). Requests for allocation of these resources should be made through the MRS resource request form, and will be considered and prioritized by a common board that meets at least quarterly.

Personnel

 
Koby Dering

Koby Dering (P. Eng., Mechanical Engineer)

Design and fabrication of detector components, ultrahigh purity/ultrahigh vacuum/large chambers, stress analysis, calibration and deployment systems, cryogenic components and systems, detector infrastructure, familiarity with TSSA regulations for pressure vessels used in Ontario and ASME code for Section VIII pressure vessels

Koby is a graduate from Queen’s University, with a B.Sc.E. in Mechanical Engineering, and has expertise in the design, fabrication, and installation of detectors and related components.

Koby was responsible for the design of many components and systems for the DEAP-3600 detector, including: a system of 500 ultra-low background polyethylene/styrofoam composite filler blocks and the filler block supporting structure; 255 photomultiplier tube supports with optical oil coupling; the detector process flange with LN2 cooling coil assembly, and integrated 12 ft long vacuum insulated sleeve; a stainless steel vacuum-rated glove box, and the mechanisms for deployment of detector systems; a vacuum insulated LN2-cooled argon condenser; vacuum insulated cryogenic piping; machine elements for the resurfacer, which is a water-tight sanding robot used to uniformly remove a layer of acrylic from the inside of the 1.7 m acrylic vessel; custom lifting devices; custom tools for the above projects; and development of the detector assembly sequence.

Recent design projects include: coordination between TSSA and the NEWS experiment for design and registration of a 10 bar, 1.4 m diameter copper pressure vessel; design of a high-pressure xenon gas recovery system; design of a platform to isolate a 37 tonne detector from seismic activity at SNOLAB; the supporting infrastructure for a 40000 L water shield tank and suspended cryostat (CUTE) including an elevated steel platform with freestanding crane.

Koby’s involvement for these projects begins in the conceptual design stage, and continues through the detailed design, fabrication, and installation. Utilizing fabrication techniques for ultrahigh purity and ultrahigh vacuum components, Koby has developed strong relationships with machine and fabrication shops within the university, across Kingston, Sudbury, and abroad. Koby is registered as a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario, and can provide signed and sealed drawings when appropriate.

 
Rob Gagnon

Rob Gagnon

Mechanical design and fabrication, operation of low background counting facility

Rob joined the SNOLAB Group in April 2007 as a Mechanical Engineer technologist after working in the metal design/fabrication and the construction sectors of industry. He helps to design, build and maintain experiments and equipment apparatus for SNOLAB related projects. Rob also maintains the clean rooms and equipment within these areas which includes a radon emanation counting chamber, and he operates the low background counting facility.

 
Phil Harvey

Phil Harvey

Programming C++, Perl, HTML, JavaScript, hardware interfacing and graphics display

Phil has a B.Sc.E. and an M.Sc.E. in Engineering Physics from Queen's, and works as a programmer. He has more than 30 years experience programming data acquisition and display software on various platforms. His past and current projects include modeling of ferromagnetic hysteresis, data acquisition for a positron annihilation experiment, simulation and 3-D display for medical positron emission tomography, data acquisition and real-time display for sonar imaging systems, control and tracking systems for the SNO+ phototube assembly and testing, data acquisition and event display for the SNO and SNO+ detectors, automated data processing system for SNO analysis, control systems for the SNO calibration sources and DEAP resurfacer, event display and seismic modeling for DEAP, and web pages and CGI utilities for SNO, DEAP and the Queen's Particle Astrophysics group, including the page you are reading now.



Facilities

 

Counting Stations

We have several counting stations, which are used to measure radioactivity from various materials. Since we are typically worried about natural radioactivity leaking into our apparatus, we spend a lot of time counting radon and radon daughters. We also look at alpha-beta coincidences and gamma rays. The acrylic radon-emanation chambers at Queen's measure 30 cm diameter by 65 cm long and have a volume of 42.2 L. The total efficiency for the Rn emanation system is 36±5%, with a background of about 50 counts per day.

 

Clean Rooms

We have two clean rooms, which are necessary to prevent contamination of equipment by dust. Dust is somewhat radioactive, and often contains uranium and thorium at about the part per million level. When we built the SNO detector, we were allowed less than 1 gram of dust, contained in all the nooks and crannies in our detector. Our clean rooms allow us to fabricate materials for deployment in SNOLAB.

 

Metal Shops

We have two machine shops. There is a staff/student shop which is accessible to all who have taken our introductory shop course, and a full shop with two machinists to make things professionally. The shops include a CNC mill, conventional mills, lathes, saws, grinders, and other machine tools.

Counting Stations Clean Rooms Metal Shops


Prioritization board

The following people will review requests to access the resources of the MRS facilities:


If you have questions or comments about the content of this website, please contact qusno@sno.phy.queensu.ca.