VAX installation and test

VAX installation and test

VAX support

On February 1, 2021, the VAX support was successfully installed and aligned in CMS. (Image: M. Luque, CERN).


The VAX equipment is a set of vacuum components located on a crowded and very difficult access area. In order to facilitate the maintenance and operation of such equipment, it has been organized into 3 modules laying on the VAX support. The interface between the modules and the support provides a smooth way of guiding, laying, and connecting the modules. This allows them to be remotely operated and handled by a robot, without the need for human intervention.

One VAX support was installed on each side of the Experimental area of CMS in January 2021 and, after a great series of tests on the prototype in surface, there was the opportunity to perform a test on the real support in CMS.

It involved the handling of Module 3, the closest to the IP, by the CRANEBot. The module was lifted to its place and, once aligned by the robot and downloaded on the support, the lifting rings were unhooked by the CRANEBot. Then it was hooked again for lifting and placing it back to the storage area.

This first test on the cavern allows us to check the view of the cameras on the target area, the interface between the robot and the hook of the overhead crane, the balance of the module when suspended by the robot and the space for the CRANEBot to move. The conclusions allow for a review of the design in order to adapt to the environment to make the operation easier and faster.

By M. Luque, BE-EA.

Related photos: link.