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August 2, 2019
LHC and Space. (Image: CERN)
A new collaboration agreement between CERN and ESA, signed on 11 July, will address the challenge of operating in harsh radiation environments, which are found in both particle-physics facilities and outer space. The agreement concerns radiation environments, technologies and facilities with potential applications in both space systems and particle-physics experiments or accelerators.
This first implementing protocol of CERN-ESA bilateral cooperation covers a broad range of activities, from general aspects such as coordination, financing and personnel exchange, to a list of irradiation facilities for joint R&D activities. It also states the willingness of both organisations to support PhD students working on radiation subjects of common interest.
Image above: Franco Ongaro, Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality and Head of ESTEC, European Space Agency (left) with Eckhard Elsen, CERN Director for Research and Computing (Image: Julien Ordan/CERN).
The agreement identifies seven specific high-priority projects: high-energy electron tests; high-penetration heavy-ion tests; assessment of EEE commercial components and modules (COTS); in-orbit technology demonstration; “radiation-hard” and “radiation-tolerant” components and modules; radiation detectors, monitors and dosimeters; and simulation tools for radiation effects.
In some cases, important preliminary results have already been achieved: high-energy electron tests for the JUICE mission were performed in the CLEAR/VESPER facility to simulate the environment of Jupiter. Complex components were also tested with xenon and lead ions in the SPS North Area at CERN for an in-depth analysis of galactic cosmic-ray effects. These activities will continue and the newly identified ones will be implemented under the coordination of the CERN-ESA Committee on Radiation Issues.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.
The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.
Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 23 Member States.
European Space Agency (ESA): http://www.esa.int/ESA
For more information about European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Visit: https://home.cern/
Images (mentioned), Text, Credit: European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).