During summer vacation 2011, after finishing the run at CERN, I had a rather messy tour across Europe and also went to Bratislava to visit some friends. Here I got the chance to get a tour of the Slovakian PSDL at the Metrological (not to mistaken with the Meteological) Institute. It is my second vist at a PSDL - a few years ago, I visited the PSDL at the National Physical Laboratory in the UK, but I only got crappy mobile phone pictures.
|The Metrological Institute of Slovakia, Bratislava.|
The director of the institute, Jozef Dobrovodsky gave me a tour of the facility. They have a close cooperation with the NPL - most physicists working with particle therapy may have heard of proton dosimetry expert Hugo Palmans who works at NPL near London, but (quite conveniently) actually lives in Bratislava.
|Jozef and Hugo looking at Roos plane parallel ionization chambers from PTW, well suited for measuring depth-dose curves of pencil shaped ion beams.|
|Outline of the facility.|
|Mock-up models of Cs-137 sources (these are NOT radioactive).|
|A part of the control room, with the very well known UNIDOS electrometer by PTW, which I worked a lot with e.g. while at CERN.|
|The yellow box holds the Co-60 source, behind the tank an additional collimator is visible which can be mounted in front of the Co-60 unit.|
|Co-60 irradiation room. The tank holds a Markus ionization chamber, and the dose-rate can be reduced by increasing the distance to the Co-60 irradiation unit.|
|How to make 90 Volts. :)|
|Cs-137 irradiation room.|
|Cs-137 irradiator seen from the front. Aperture can slide to the right, exposing the room to the source.|
|Second time I ever see a betatron. Yay! :-)|
|You can extract either photons or electrons on either side. This is the photon exit (I think).|
|They even had a spare betatron tube, heavily tarnished by radiation damage to the glass.|
|Control console for the betatron. Nice and sleek.|
|Power supply and controls for the betatron. Many components are still genuine Czech, manufactured by TESLA.|
|This accelerator was very cute: protons accelerated towards a tritium target produces a neutron beam. The design of the high voltage terminal looks very much like the design found in the terminal of our Van de Graaf KN machine in Aarhus.|
|The ion source can be seen in the middle.|
|Beam is directed against a tritium metal hydride target, which is rotated to redistribute the dissipated power over a larger area. This produces a neutron beam, exiting to the lower left.|
I always found acceletor technology very interesting, especially old designs where you easily can recognize what is going on (or not). If it is eastern-european design, it's just even more interesting, since they tend to look rather different and often show signs of various improvisations.
|This is some Russian accelerator based neutron source. However, it was not really used if I remember correctly, and unfortunately I didn't pick up all the details about it.|
|I was once told that its very characteristic for Russian accelerator systems, that the vacuum tubes are fixed with 4 screws only.|
This concludes our little tour at the irradiation facilities of the primary standard lab in Bratislava. Thanks to Hugo Palmans and Jozef Dobrovodsky for the tour!
|An antiproton and a proton dosimetry researcher meet. No annihilation, but some sort of a bound state, clearly sharing common goals and interests.|