What happens at CERN in 2005 !


To meet the LHC schedule aiming at a start up with beam in mid-2007, the year 2005 is devoted to development and installation activities for the LHC. In order to liberate sufficient resources for LHC work, the CERN management has decided not to run the PS and the SPS in 2005; only the ISOLDE/REX facility will run for physics.

 2005 is the year when the first cryomagnets will be installed in the LHC tunnel, when LHC hardware commissioning will start, sector by sector, on the powering systems and when the experiments (Alice, Atlas, CMS, LHCb) will be heavily involved in assembling and testing their detectors. Behind the scene, hundreds of cryomagnets are being carefully tested on 12 large test benches running day and night and a huge distributed cryogenic plant is being installed and commissioned around the 27 km circumference of the LHC.

 Meanwhile, the new Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR) that will produce lead ions for LHC is being commissioned with the aim of colliding the first lead ion beams in LHC in 2008. The controls for CNGS, another exciting experiment aiming at sending neutrinos from the SPS to the Gran-Sasso laboratory near Rome, are being prepared for beam commissioning in 2006. Finally the PS and the SPS are being refurbished to upgrade their performance and ensure they will run reliably as injectors for LHC. In the PS half of the 50-year old main magnets will be exchanged and in the SPS the controls are being upgraded to allow for fast cycle changes in order to produce efficiently the numerous beams needed for physics and for LHC.

 CERN also operates the CTF3 R&D facility where the technology for a future 3 TeV e+/e- Linear Collider (CLIC) is being tested. A vigorous programme was recently setup to get to the full validation of all the major concepts by 2009, resulting in an expanded programme of implementation. As a result a new slice of this facility is being installed every year: in 2005 a "delay loop" will be installed and commissioned.

 For the cherry on the cake, it has been decided to regroup, in a single control room, the operation of all the CERN accelerators as well as the monitoring of the technical infrastructure. This will improve the operation of the accelerators and especially the production of the beams for LHC. So in 2005 the CERN Control Center (CCC), a 625 m2 extension to the old SPS and LEP control room is being built on the Prévessin site.

 Thus, 2006 will be a very challenging year. The start-up of all the CERN machines for the whole community of physicists, eager to get as much beam as possible after the 17 month stop, from a completely new control room is in itself an important step. However the commissioning of the new CNGS high intensity beam, the commissioning of the ion beam produced by LEIR in the PS and the SPS and the commissioning of the proton beam in the first sector of LHC by the end of the year will doubtlessly earmark 2006 as the more ambitious accelerator run since CERN started.

 ICALEPCS 2005 in Geneva will evolve in a bustling environment, a stones throw away from where it all happens and will provide the opportunity to visit the sites of these activities and to discuss and exchange experience with the many engineers involved in the development of controls at CERN.