LDX Project Status

January 18, 2002


The floating coil cryostat and charging station, under construction at Ability Engineering Technology, has made steady progress in the last month. Both halves of the lead thermal shield are now complete. This labor intensive process involved soldering of several hundred lead tiles to the heat exchanger tubing mounted to the previously completed toroidal inner skin. These tiles were then epoxied to the skin in a vacuum bagging process. Next, gaps between tiles were filled with glass filled epoxy paste and the final outer skin was laid down on top and vacuum bagged to remove excess epoxy. The finished half heat shield is shown in the figure below.

The final part in the cryostat is the toroidal outer vacuum shell. The outer shell was machined meet the required specifications. It was discovered that the space frame which holds the high-g impact supports needs some modifications and the required modifications are proceeding.

The high-g impact, low heat leak supports have been completed. The components have been in our possession for some time; now, all 7500 pie-pan shaped laminations have been cleaned, assembled and sent to Ability via FedEx.


The soldering of all 35 joints of the coil including the terminal joints are completed. Teflon spacers have been attached to the winding. Voids at the coil sides have been filled with glass cloths. Voltage taps for quench detection have been soldered to the winding. The winding is fully prepared for the VPI. (See photos.) This week the winding with all necessary equipment will be send to the plant "Novaja Sila" for VPI. VPI is scheduled at the end of January.

Dr. Alex Zhukovsky visited SINTEZ and Efremov plant during December 10-14. He examined the winding which was ready for soldering the joints, the equipment for VPI and the clean vacuum shop where the cryostat will be assembled. Several problems were solved during discussions with designers. The test of the C-coil at the SINTEZ test stand was also discussed. During his visit it was agreed to use stainless steel 321 for the main cryostat parts instead of SS 304 and SS 316 (or their Russian equivalents). The German-made SS 321 was ordered from a Swedish company at the end of the year with a very short delivery time.

Dr. Zhukovsky had a meeting with managers of the project and SINTEZ administration, including director Dr. Filatov, as well as with the chef engineer of the Efremov plant. They confirmed that the highest priority will be given to the C-coil project and that the project will be finished according to the schedule. The chef engineer supplied to Alex the Russian version of the traveler for the C-coil manufacturing.

The cryostat manufacturing has started with the manufacture of the carbon steel machining tools that will be used for the cryostat manufacturing and assembly. Small diameter stainless steel flanges are also under production. The SS 321 is partially delivered.

The quench protection system (QPS) was initially assembled and tested without the internal resistor. The resistor was then installed. TQPS is presently being prepared for the final test with the resistor.

Levitation Coil

All of the tooling and materials needed to wind the L-coil have been procured. On Jan. 14~15, the copper cooling fins will be laminated to the coil's central stainless steel support plate using a vacuum bagging technique to complete the central plate assembly. A winding tension schedule has been developed to minimize the chance for hoop buckling in the inner layers of the coil during winding. Dummy winding practice should begin during the week of Jan. 21.

The preliminary design of the cryostat is nearly complete. The first set of drawings for this design should be available on Jan. 14.

We have reviewed proposals for the fabrication of a power supply and dump switch for the L-coil. The fabrication was awarded to Dynapower.


Two of the three major assemblies that make up the launcher have been delivered to MIT. We have had to redesign a component in the remaining assembly that protects a fragile bellows. A draft design has been completed, which has been approved by the LDX personnel as well as the vendor's representative. Once the final design is made, the component can be constructed and the assembly will be completed and shipped to MIT.