SuperNEMO’s source foils are due to be installed next week, so it’s time to open up the detector.

The double-beta emitters are ready for installation at the LSM, but before they can be hung in place, the protective steel plates covering the tracker sections have to be removed. One side of the tracker has already been exposed to enable us to install the source foil frame, and now it is the turn of the second half tracker.

Gas seal plates in place

Removing the plates

Engineers Craig Theobald and Martin Kemp of UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory near Dorking, UK led the operation to remove the three large steel plates using a system of cranes. Stefano de Capua of the University of Manchester, Fang Xie and Cheryl Patrick of UCL, and Andrea Jeremie of LAPP provided assistance.

Removing the plates

Now that the plates have been removed, we are ready to go ahead with installing the source foils - a major milestone on our way to taking data.