The scale and complexity of shutdown work - from replacement of key moderator systems on the first target station through to renewal of synchrotron components and the linking of the second target station proton beamline to the accelerator - meant that getting ISIS back up and running was no mean feat, and a tribute to the hard work of many ISIS technical groups.
Progress didn't stop there!
December 2007 saw protons successfully extracted from the accelerator and transported along the 143m beamline, via 57 steering and focusing magnets to a beamstop at the Second Target Station. This was a major milestone for the project.
That achievement paved the way for first neutron production on the Second Target Station. August 3, 2008 was the landmark day on which neutrons were produced in the tungsten target, thermalised in the solid methane moderator and successfully detected by the Inter instrument. The measured neutronic temperature and spectral intensity were spot on!
This success is testimony to the hard work and dedication of hundreds of people - mechanical and electrical engineers, accelerator physicists, instrument and support scientists, project managers, construction staff - and many others - whose efforts have combined to produce another ISIS first. My sincerest congratulations to all those who have helped to make TS-2 possible.
Proton beam extraction from the ISIS synchrotron for TS-1 and TS-2 is a complex affair
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This is, of course, just the beginning. First neutron production paves the way for new science at the Second Target Station. The Day-One instruments will be operational by the end of the year, and we and the community are looking forward to new science flowing from these state-of-the art neutron diffractometers, reflectometers and spectrometers.
But not to forget the first target station! The new HRPD instrument has delivered an order of magnitude increase in intensity, a new high-field muon instrument is nearing completion, and the Polaris upgrade is progressing well.
In these tough times for STFC, we must not lose sight of the very significant achievements, scientific and technical,which we have made over the past year. ANd we are looking forward to an exciting year of new science ahead.