Baby MIND completes testing at CERN
Jennifer Toes, 23/08/2017

A 20 tonne block (one of four elements) of the Baby MIND detector being transported from the construction site to the East Hall experimental zone of the Proton Synchrotron (Image: Etam Noah) 

Following testing at the CERN Proton Synchrotron (PS), the prototype neutrino detector known as ‘Baby MIND’ will leave Switzerland in October to journey to the J-PARC facility in Japan for installation from January 2018.

Baby MIND is a smaller prototype for a Magnetised Iron Neutrino Detector (MIND) which will be able to obtain detailed information about neutrinos. These detectors aim to build up a picture by studying the charge and momentum of particles, known as muons, which are produced when a neutrino comes into contact with other types of matter.

After the project was approved in December 2015, the Baby MIND collaboration set about manufacturing and testing components at CERN and sites in Russia and Geneva University.

The AIDA-2020 project supports two PhD students, one at Glasgow University and the other at Geneva University, as part of Work Package 8 (WP8), which is focused on the development of large-scale cryogenic liquid detectors. Task 8.6 aims to develop novel magnetisation schemes, which were implemented in the work on Baby MIND.

The Baby MIND magnetisation scheme was developed to address specific access and installation constraints in Japan. The design moves away from the traditional approach of building one large, monolithic block of iron magnetized with one or more coils threaded through its mass. The new scheme is comprised of 33 iron modules, which are magnetised individually, which drastically improves the modularity of the detector.

After construction, the detector was moved to the CERN PS in June 2017 to undergo characterisation using the T9 beamline.

The Baby MIND beam test team, taking data at the East Hall experimental zone of the PS in July 2017 (Image: Etam Noah)

Etam Noah, Technical Coordinator of the Baby MIND project said, “This is a great example of a prototyping activity supported by both AIDA and the AIDA-2020 project that has grown into a piece of equipment that will take valuable physics data on a neutrino beamline in Japan. The timing could not have been better with the setting-up of the Neutrino Platform at CERN that contributed significantly to bringing the whole thing together.”

Following the beam test process, the detector will now be shipped to the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) facility based on the east coast of Japan. Upon arrival, Baby MIND will be installed, commissioned and integrated into the WAGASCI (T59) experiment.

Located on the J-PARC neutrino beam line, WAGASCI aims to study neutrinos, including how they interact with water. 

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