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College Park, Maryland      June 6 - 10 , 2004

TP27: Fast Exchange Refrigerator for Neutron Science (FERNS)

J.E. Rix (Containerless Research, Inc.), L.J. Santodonato (Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Laboratory), J.K.R. Weber (Containerless Research, Inc.)

Modern neutron science can exploit new techniques that locate samples in a neutron beam while controlling experimental variables such as temperature, pressure, and magnetic field. The Fast Exchange Refrigerator for Neutron Science (FERNS) instrument is being developed to enable efficient use of beamline resources, achieve a high throughput of samples, and meet needs expressed by the user community for an capability that combines: (i) reliable cryogenic temperature control, (ii) remote automated sample exchange and storage, (iii) rapid thermal response, and (iv) ease-of-use with various sample experimental configurations. The FERNS instrument is designed to exploit the fast measurement capabilities of high flux beamlines by integrating automated sample handling and cryogenic temperature control via a computerized operating and sample management system. We present results of testing of a prototype FERNS device using a cryogenic system, results of cooling and sample exchange testing, describe software control capabilities, and outline plans for a beamline instrument that can be programmed to process multiple samples.

Supported by DOE Phase I SBIR contract number DE-FG02-03ER83633.

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