Instruments for ESS
The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), and will be the world’s most powerful neutron source hosted by Sweden and Denmark. The scientific community will greatly benefit from the unique capabilities of this new facility which will enable new opportunities for researchers across the spectrum of scientific discovery, including physics, chemistry, material science, life sciences, energy, environmental technology, cultural heritage and fundamental physics.
Neutrons are excellent for probing materials on the molecular level and ESS will open new opportunities for science with neutrons. The ESS will have a powerful proton accelerator, shooting pulses with a beam power of 5 MW into a rotating tungsten target (first of its kind), producing a pulsed neutron beam significantly brighter than current technology.
Such a unique and first-of-its-kind facility can only be constructed with contributions from many different partner institutions. From the 1,84 Billion Euro budget, approximately 35% are contributions from partner institutions which will design and deliver a part of the European Spallation Source.
Germany’s contribution to the ESS amounts to a total of 202.5 Million Euro and is the biggest contribution to the ESS (after that of the host countries). Part of this contribution was the design update phase (20,5 Million Euros) which involved seven German institutions: HZH, DESY, TUM, HZB, KIL, HZDR and FZJ, which has also been managing the project.
Currently, three German institutions are involved in the construction phase of the project: FZJ, TUM and HZH. All German partners are involved in the design and construction of several neutron instruments, and FZJ is also contributing to the construction of the target station. Furthermore, FZJ has also participated in three European funded projects for the ESS: detector development (SoNDe), in-kind management (BrightnESS and BrightnESS2), and in the innovation potential of neutron Large Scale Facilities (SINE2020).
Through operating the DIDO research reactor from 1992 to 2006 in Jülich, FZJ has a long-standing tradition and decades of experience in the development of neutron sources, novel neutron instrumentation, user operation and neutron science. Today, the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS, FZJ) operates world-class instruments at the world’s leading neutron sources: the FRM II at the MLZ in Germany, the HFR at the ILL in France and the SNS at ORNL in USA. This reflects the implementation of the strategic concept to offer the international user community the best instruments at the best sources combined in an excellent scientific environment. This strategy is founded on science driven method development: top-level “in house” research drives the instrumentation and builds the basis for the scientific framework which is highly appreciated by the users.
The successful innovative work of the FZJ in neutron methodology and neutron science benefits from the consolidated collaboration of the JCNS with the Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA) at FZJ. The department of Engineering and Technology (ZEA-1) supports the JCNS with decades of experience in the design and construction of neutron instrumentation and critical components such as choppers. Therefore, ESS has chosen ZEA-1 to work on the development of high-speed choppers and a control system for choppers.
FZJ also contributes to the ESS target construction through the Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA-1), responsible for the engineering, manufacturing and testing of one of the key components of the ESS Target Station, the moderator & reflector system. This unit consists of two liquid hydrogen cold moderators, one water thermal moderator, one beryllium reflector and the associated support structure, the so-called twister of the moderator unit.
The high pulsed heat deposition and the irradiation of the components make a thorough thermal-hydraulic and thermo-mechanical design challenging but indispensable. In an iterative process, designs were developed that meet the strict criteria to be applied in the target area of the ESS. The final design phase of the moderator & reflector system has been successfully completed and the manufacturing phase started mid-2017. Most of the components mentioned are produced in-house.