LDX Project Status

March 24, 2003


Final preparations were made on the lead thermal radiation shield to close small gaps for room temperature radiation and thermal sensors were installed on the shield surface. Multi-layer insulation (MLI) is now being installed onto the toroidally shaped thermal shield to reduce the radiation heat load onto the radiation shield. The first 10 of the 36 MLI layers of double aluminized Mylar and spun polyester Remay have been installed to date.

Ability Engineering also completed the welding and leak testing of the upper flange of the charging station. The outer cylinder was checked for roundness and found to meet the small tolerances that were specified. Finally, the shell was electropolished for vacuum purposes.


The charging coil was tested between February 10 and March 8 at the cryogenic facility of Sintez. Alex Zhukovsky participated during the preparation and execution of the tests.

The coil was energized twice with a half-rate current ramp and then once with a full-rate current rump rate of 0.3 A/s. All three times the coil quenched at 440 A. No training was observed. Therefore, it was determined that the coil can operate at current level below 440 A. The quench detection and magnet protection systems worked properly.

During initial cooling of the cryostat the consumption of liquid helium was about 1400 liters and the liquid nitrogen consumption was about 4500 liters.

The cryostat was allowed to warm up, the data from the testing was analyzed and preparations have begun for shipment of the completed coil to MIT.


The levitation coil was delivered to MIT on February 19. Everson Electric Company completed the cryostat on Feb. 7. During the week of Feb. 10 - 14, the coil was evacuated, vacuum leak checked, and removed from its manufacturing stand. A padded shipping crate to transport the cryostat from Everson to PSFC was completed on Feb. 18. It is presently being prepared for initial cool down and electrical testing.


Repairs and some necessary structural modifications on the vacuum-facing launcher system are nearly finished. Tests of the motion system, used to raise and lower the floating coil, were completed.


One of two Helmholz coils, used for plasma shaping and compressibility control, has been wound.