Journal article

The radiation field in the Gamma Irradiation Facility GIF plus plus at CERN

The high-luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) upgrade is setting now a new challenge for particle detector technologies. The increase in luminosity will produce a particle background in the gas-based muon detectors that is ten times higher than under conditions at the LHC. The detailed knowledge of the detector performance in the presence of such a high background is crucial for an optimized design and efficient operation after the HL-LHC upgrade. A precise understanding of possible aging effects of detector materials and gases is of extreme importance. To cope with these challenging requirements, a new Gamma Irradiation Facility (GIF++) was designed and built at the CERN SPS North Area as successor of the Gamma Irradiation Facility (GIF) during the Long Shutdown 1 (LS1) period. It features an intense source of 662 keV photons with adjustable intensity, to simulate continuous background over large areas, and, combined with a high energy muon beam, to measure detector performance in the presence of the background. The new GIF++ facility has been operational since spring 2015. In addition to describing the facility and its infrastructure, the goal of this work is to provide an extensive characterization of the GIF++ photon field with different configurations of the absorption filters in both the upstream and downstream irradiation areas. Moreover, the measured results are benchmarked with Geant4 simulations to enhance the knowledge of the radiation field. The absorbed dose in air in the facility may reach up to 2.2 Gy/h directly in front of the irradiator. Of special interest is the low-energy photon component that develops due to the multiple scattering of photons within the irradiator and from the concrete walls of the bunker. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


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