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ESS Department of Instrumentation


In its role as the most powerful neutron source in the world, the European Spallation Source ESS aims to provide scientists from a wide range of disciplines - such as materials science, magnetism, and geology down to soft matter and biology - with neutrons for experiments to address the scientific and social challenges of the future.

This major European project has been given priority status on the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The total cost of the ESS, to be built in Lund, Sweden, will be in the region of 1.843 billion Euros (as of 2013). Currently, 17 European countries are involved in the project.

In October 2014, the laying of the foundation stone for the neutron source took place. After the completion of the Design Update Phase, lasting several years, where the plans for the construction and operation of the ESS were revised in the light of findings from other spallation facilities, the Construction Phase has now been underway since the beginning of 2015. 2019 should see the start of operations with the first ESS instruments.  After this, the Completion Phase is due to begin, in which the rest of the instruments will be installed and tested. It is planned that the facility, complete with all its instruments, will be fully operational by 2025.   

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) welcomes and supports a strong German presence and an active contribution to the establishment of the ESS.


ESSInstrumentierung_jpgNSE instrument at the SNS spallation source in Oak Ridge


Instruments for the most powerful source in the world

From 2010 to 2014, Forschungszentrum Jülich headed the ESS Design Update project in Germany and provided the largest German contribution within the ESS Design Update Phase. Jülich can look back on a long history in neutron research and the development of instruments and spallation sources.  At Forschungszentrum Jülich, work was undertaken both at the target and on the instruments along with their components within the framework of the Design Update Phase. Funded in part by the BMBF in the Design Update Phase, development work on the concept and design of high-performance instruments took place in the ESS Department of Instrumentation. Now the same department is preparing for the start of the Construction Phase.

In this way, staff of this department will benefit greatly from the long years of experience and know-how of colleagues from JCNS-1 and JCNS-2, as well as the JCNS outstations at the research reactor FRM II, the SNS in Oak Ridge, USA, and the ILL in Grenoble, France.