ESD tests remote-handling maintenance procedures with wooden target module prototype

FRIB is testing its remote-handling equipment with a prototype target module.

The equipment used to produce rare isotopes at FRIB will become activated but must still be maintained. For example, the target assembly will need to be removed from the beamline for maintenance every two weeks.

Made of wood and outfitted with interchangeable pieces, the prototype allows engineers to make sure their master-slave manipulators (remotely-operated mechanical arms) will be able to maneuver the actual target module once the hot cell is built. The hot cell will be a shielded radiation containment center. The target, a carbon disc that will spin at 5,000 RPM, will generate the particles to be studied when high-energy ion beams pass through it.

The target will be removed from the beamline using a remotely operated 20-ton bridge crane, and it will be placed in front of a window workstation. At the workstation, the technician will be protected from the radiation by a 3-foot-thick hot cell wall and can observe the target maintenance operations through an 18-inch-thick glass-shield window and via video cameras.

It is important to confirm that all maintenance procedures can be completed before the target becomes radioactive. By using the wooden prototype, FRIB staff can learn how to properly service it once it is contained in the hot cell.