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The precise alignment of particle accelerators components is a very important engineering challenge in high-energy physics. Sections of the accelerators’ beamlines close to the experimental areas impose particular constraints on the alignment of components, often below 50 µm of precision for components weighting several tons. Moreover, the accelerator environment is very particular in terms of operating conditions due to large temperature gradients (cryogenic cooling), vacuum and ionizing radiation, thus excluding many conventional sensing techniques.
The first part of this seminar presents an overview of sensors and methods used in the LHC, based on capacitive sensing, like Hydrostatic Levelling Sensors (HLS), Wire Positioning Sensors (WPS) and Distance Offset Measurement Sensors (DOMS). In the future, those sensors will be replaced by their optical counterparts, based on Frequency Scanning Interferometry (FSI). This will allow to simplify and reduce the cost of the entire remote alignment system for the High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) project. The second part of the seminar focuses on the principle of FSI measurements and its future application to accelerator alignment. It will be followed by a presentation of solutions developed to-date and their test results. To conclude, a short lab-based demo will be performed to present the nuts and bolts of the FSI measurement methodology.