Beryllium filter

The ultra-compact beryllium filter is cooled down with a 2.7 W @ 80 K cryocooler from Thales Cryogenics which requires a water cooling line. The vessel of the cryostat is pumped dynamically and the cryostat is translated into the neutron beam when needed. A logic process controller (Schneider M251) monitors the water flow rate, the water temperature, the pressure in the vacuum vessel, the temperature of the Thales microprocesor and the temperature of the beryllium filter.

The graphical user interface of the humain machine interface (Schenider HMI GTO 4310) proposes 4 screens selected from a tab bar:

  • Temperature evolution of the beryllium block
  • Temperature evolution of the Thales electronics
  • Synoptic of the cryostat displaying all parameters
  • Logs of all actions and errors since the beginning of its use

At the top of the screens, indicators are permanently displayed to report potential alarms and defaults. Data are collected and stored in a flash memory. The cooling of the filter is automatic.

The setpoint is fixed to 80 K. A reduction of the water cooling flow-rate raises an alarm for a minute (flow-rate < 2 L/min). The controller waits for a recovery of the water cooling line and stops the cooler after a minute. The pressure in the vacuum vessel of the cryostat must remain  lower than 1e-4 mbar. If it increases, the controller raises an alarm until it measures 5e-4 mbar (default). Similairly, the temperature of the cooler drive electronics is monitored and should not exceed the room temperature + 20 °C.

Full remote control

Computer control via Ethernet is available. All parameters can be read and the cooling can be started or stopped. The communications are based on the Modbus communications protocol which has become a de facto standard in industry. We provide a Modbus XOP and a Procedure for controlling the level monitor with Igor Pro.

Equipment status — Idle bitX 40 100.0
Equipment status — Running bitX 40 100.1
Equipment status — Local/Remote bitXX40 100.2
Equipment status — Fault bitX 40 100.3
Equipment status — Start/Stop bitXX40 100.4
NOMAD tolerance range (idle and running status)XX40 102
Be temperature - top (K)X 40 104
Be temperature setpoint (K)X 40 106
Be temperature - bottom (K)X 40 108
Cooler supplied voltage (V)X 40 110
Cooler supplied current (A)X 40 112
Cooler drive voltage (V rms)X 40 114
Cooler drive electronics temperature (°C)X 40 116
Pressure in vacuum vessel (hPa)X 40 118
Cooling water flow-rateX 40 120

Please find below the release history and some instructions for updating the firmware.

Release History

  • 1.00 - Initial release