Annual reports

Extracts from the ILL Annual reports (1970-1990)

What follows is drawn essentially from the first 19 ILL Annual Reports. The text in blue is additional commentary to the annual report information.


Purchase of 3  As-Ge diode controllers (1.5 T 300) and launch of the manufacture of 10 others.


Realisation that the ILL temperature controllers were not up to the scientists' requirements.

A precise study has shown that considerable time was devoted by experimenters to changes of temperature. It seems more and more necessary to be able to control the temperature by means of the computer operating the instrument, so that in the end temperature will be a parameter like the others, for the sample can be "positioned" in the same way.


Design of an initial prototype in collaboration with the SCIAD (Service de Contrôle des Instruments et d'Acquisition des Données). The Annual report gives no details on the technology chosen.
Emphasis is placed on controlling the cryostats.


Project started on an independent microprocessor-based controller or controlled by the instrument, with automatic temperature control.


Microprocessor-based controller: prototype almost ready. The silicon diode sensors on 51 cryostats are replaced by carbon and platinum resistors.


Testing the first series of 6 microprocessor controllers. They could handle all types of temperature measurement (metal film resistors, semi-conductors, thermocouples) and were therefore potentially compatible with the furnaces.
Order placed for 20 controllers.


Delivery of 10 controllers:

It is now possible for an experimentalist to verify and change temperature from home.

Several labs in France, Germany and Denmark request these devices.


29 controllers in service. Development of furnace control underway. Prototype available for the automatic control of the cryostats' cold valves. A pre-series of 5 soon to be tested.

The arrival of this sort of remote control was a key step towards complete automation of the cryostats. By 2015, thanks to the automatic supply of nitrogen and liquid helium to the cryostats and controller-management of the heating and cold valve, liquid helium cryogenics had become a push-button affair.


Construction under licence of the high-precision temperature controller (PTC).
Version 2 of the software tested.


Design and development of the new ILLSEC (ILL Sample Environment Controller)
Calibration campaign on the thermometers up to 20 mK.