November 19, 2004
Klaisner Hosts Fermilab Event
By Davide Castelvecchi
Lowell Klaisner (GLAST) traveled to Fermilab where he was
joined by Tom Johnson (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) on November 8.
The purpose of the trip was to celebrate the successful completion of a
key component of the Large Area Telescope (LAT), the main instrument of
the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST).
Lowell Klaisner (Photo by Diana Rogers)
When in orbit about three years from now, GLAST will be
the most powerful eye ever cast on the gamma ray sky—essentially a small,
flying replica of the heart of a detector like BABAR.
A Fermilab team led by Phyllis Deering (FNAL) manufactured
and tested scintillator tiles, which wrap around the LAT’s main detector
and pick up the faint flashes produced by the passage of charged
particles. Such signals tell the telescope that an event was not a gamma
ray but a cosmic ray, so the on-board electronics should ignore it and
weed it out as noise. The scintillators are arrays of optical fibers that
pick up the light and funnel it to photo-multiplier tubes.
"We’re very appreciative. This is the first component of
the LAT to be completed," said Klaisner, project manager for the SLAC-based
Following NASA’s specifications was especially
challenging, Deering said, because of the limited room available inside
the probe. Johnson said Fermilab was chosen for this project because of
their experience with manufacturing similar components for two Tevatron
detectors, the Minos neutrino detector and the CMS detector for the LHC.
Johnson called the routing of the tiles’ optical fibers a ‘work of art.’
"Your technical knowledge, skills and abilities really provided a super
product to us," he said.
The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is
managed by Stanford University for the
US Department of Energy
Wednesday November 17, 2004 by