Hissing Sid the hovercraft
16 Nov 2021



When the magnets in the ISIS synchrotron need to be removed for maintenance, it is not possible to use a crane and so the engineers use a specially designed hovercraft to move them




The magnets that control the direction and focussing of the proton beam in the ISIS synchrotron occasionally need to be removed from the synchrotron hall for maintenance. During the current long shutd​own, one of the dipole magnets was removed to replace both the coils inside it. The work has now been completed and it's time for it to return to the synchrotron hall.

To move these magnets, which weigh over 30 tonnes, is a challenging task, and one that is not possible using the cranes. The engineers use a hovercraft device that, thanks to its noise levels, is known as 'Hissing Sid'. Using a specially installed shiny floor, they are then able to push the magnet into the synchrotron hall and into a place where the crane can lift it into place. 

Contact: de Laune, Rosie (STFC,RAL,ISIS)