With the ongoing support from the Technology Department's Daresbury Division, AGATA is a continually evolving international detector that will be hosted by all the major European nuclear-structure facilities in the coming decade and beyond.
The social and economic benefits of AGATA are set to be far-reaching, including improved medical imaging and diagnosis for the detection of disease and tumours, portable radiation monitors for bomb detection, and environmental monitoring of radioactive waste.
The scope of this engineering project was to locate the instrument at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics laboratory (INFN) in Legnaro and double its current number of high-purity germanium detectors from 45 to 90 detector capsules.
Technology at Daresbury successfully delivered the complete mechanical package for the latest phase of AGATA, by designing and building the systems required for a 90-detector array and leading the successful installation of this unique structure at the Legnaro National Laboratory.
Four teams from Technology at Daresbury Laboratory were involved in the project. They include the:
Project and Mechanical Engineering Group – as project lead providing project management, mechanical design, and analysis.
Nuclear Physics Group – as construction lead, providing testing and commissioning, developing the new generation of electronics, and developing the detector simulation code.
Electrical Engineering Group – providing control system design, installation, and commissioning.
Mechanical, Metrology and Technical Engineering Group – providing survey and alignment.
Over the past 30 years, the UK has designed the majority of large gamma-ray spectrometers in Europe and Daresbury has a long track record and global reputation for providing engineering expertise. The team at Daresbury has led the mechanical design work required to locate and exploit the AGATA array at each of the major European nuclear-structure facilities to date.
‘Smith, R., Menegazzo, R., Aufranc, C. et al. AGATA: mechanics and infrastructures. Eur. Phys. J. A 59, 166 (2023).
- Clément, E., Bracco, A., Gadea, A. et al. Organisation of the AGATA collaboration and physics campaigns. Eur. Phys. J. A 59, 152 (2023).
- Labiche, M., Ljungvall, J., Crespi, F.C.L. et al. Simulation of the AGATA spectrometer and coupling with ancillary detectors. Eur. Phys. J. A 59, 158 (2023).
Collado, J., Capra, S., Pullia, A. et al. AGATA phase 2 advancements in front-end electronics. Eur. Phys. J. A 59, 133 (2023).
Written by Richard Smith, group leader of the Projects and Mechanical Engineering team.