High field magnet for neutron scattering has made its way to Italy

After five years of manufacture, the superconducting spool for the new high field magnet for neutron scattering finally took off from Atlanta, USA, inside the belly of an MD-11F Lufthansa cargo plane on October 9, 2013, at 3:00 am EST. The plane landed in the cargo area at Frankfurt Airport promptly at 6:21 pm that same day. Following German customs clearance, the magnet was subsequently transferred to Italy by truck where, on Friday, October 11, it arrived in Chivasso/Turin.

The cargo container with the high field magnet inside of it ended up weighing approx. 8,500 kilograms. The head of the project, Dr. Peter Smeibidl, personally accompanied the magnet aboard the cargo plane on its travels to Frankfurt. Along with an employee of the cargo insurance company, he personally supervised the transport, confirming all of the necessary precautions had been taken and to ensure the high field magnet’s safe transport. “The cargo experts’ level of professionalism was greatly reassuring,“  says Smeibidl. Subsequent to its arrival in Italy, the magnet was analyzed to ensure it did in fact have a safe trip. The cargo is being monitored 24/7 for potential concussions using special sensors.

Over the course of the next three months, the superconducting spool will be installed in its cryostat in Chivasso. And, in February 2014, the pre-assembled magnet will at long last reach its final destination: the Helmholtz Center Berlin. At that point, final on-site assembly and installation at neutron instrument EXED will commence, which will also include installing the normally conducting spool. Since September 2013, Peter Smeidibl has been head of the project and the man in charge of overseeing completion of the high field magnet and EXED.

The magnet’s transport to Italy marked the end of an important stage in the project: the superconducting magnetic spool is finally finished. Some 50 employees at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) in Tallahassee, USA, along with a team of 8 at the Helmholtz Center Berlin together worked on the spool’s development. Over 96,000 hours of work at the NHMFL went into the manufacture of the superconducting spool. Before the magnet’s departure, this achievement was being honored as part of a festive hand-over ceremony at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. The head of the project, Dr. Peter Smeibidl, and the former manager of the Hahn Meitner Institute, Prof. Dr. Michael Steiner, both took part in the festivities. The HZB’s scientific director, Prof. Dr. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, called in during the ceremony to extend her best wishes.


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