The LBNC encourages full momentum

Also see LBNC meets at Sanford Lab, SURF, 30 October 2017. 

The Long-Baseline Neutrino Committee (LBNC) — the experts responsible for advising the Fermilab Director on LBNF’s and DUNE’s scientific, technical, and managerial progress — had an opportunity to gain first-hand impressions of the DUNE Far Detector site during their recent review of the projects, held for the first time at SURF in late October.

LBNC and LBNF members at the 4850 level at SURF. Photo: Josh Willhite

Josh Willhite, the LBNF Far Site Conventional Facilities Manager, guided many of the attendees on an extensive tour of the 4850 level where pre-excavation activities will begin in the next few months followed by the start of actual rock excavation in 2019. The required clunky jumpsuits, helmets and boots in no way inhibited the group’s nonstop photos, questions and smiles.

This review marked a transition in the LBNC’s focus. With the ProtoDUNE designs largely complete and construction underway, and the DUNE Far Detector Technical Proposal and Technical Design Report (TDR) now in the crosshairs, the LBNC is largely turning its attention towards plans for the Far Detector construction.

The Black Hills coincidentally exhibited a transition of their own — the first day’s lovely autumnal high of 73 degrees and sunshine gave way to chilly temperatures and a light snow the second. Above: the Ross headframe in Lead as seen from Deadwood. Photo: A.Heavey

The LBNC commended DUNE on establishing the consortium-based structure for the Far Detector in a timely manner, considering it “a demonstration of a major step in building up the collaborative spirit.”

The committee applauded the steady growth in the DUNE Collaboration, which now includes 176 institutions in 31 nations and “a healthy fraction of PhD Students,” and on the “significant progress” in negotiations with new prospective partners in Europe, South America and Asia.

The next day: light snow in the open cut. Photo: A.Heavey

“Overall, the Committee was very impressed by the significant progress achieved by both LBNF and DUNE since the last LBNC review (in June at CERN),” the committee wrote. In particular, on the LBNF side, the LBNC’s report highlighted the completion of the Ross shaft refurbishment, the award of the CM/GC contract, and the imminent start of the final design phase for the Far Site Conventional Facilities. On the DUNE side, they congratulated CERN Neutrino Platform and the Collaboration on the “tremendous progress” made on the ProtoDUNE cryostats.

Wall Drug (a tourist attraction in SD) sign at 4850. From Wikipedia: Wall Drug earns much of its fame from its self-promotion. Billboards advertising the establishment can be seen for hundreds of miles throughout South Dakota and the neighboring states. In addition, many visitors of Wall Drug have erected signs throughout the world announcing the miles to Wall Drug from famous locations. Photo: A.Heavey

A special Wednesday evening session focused on plans for the Technical Proposal and the TDR. While acknowledging that the plans are “ambitious,” the LBNC agreed with the framework that the DUNE leadership presented, recognizing that such a plan “will allow the Collaboration to maintain full momentum for developing the project in a focused and timely fashion, including the detailed construction strategies and schedules for the various components.” The group discussed the review schedule in accordance with getting final approval in late 2019 to move forward with construction of the cryostats, cryogenic systems, and detector components.