- Number 290 |
- July 6, 2009
Neutrino physicists count on Fermilab’s Castro
Cervando Castro (left)
and Keith Anderson
operate the remote crane control for the NuMI
beam line at Fermilab.
DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is home of the world’s most powerful neutrino beam. This month, Cervando Castro will make sure it stays that way. He will use a remote control crane to change a key piece of equipment in Fermilab’s neutrino beam line. It's a job where steady hands and sharp eyes are essential.
“Cervando’s very focused and very calm in high-pressure situations," says Kris Anderson, lead engineer for target hall operations. "We rely on him a lot.”
As part of regular maintenance, Castro will swap out the target of the Neutrinos at the Main Injector beam line, the piece that helps create neutrinos from protons. Scientists use the high-intensity NuMI neutrino beam to learn more about neutrinos and their role in the evolution of the universe.
Because a target becomes radioactive after being bombarded by protons over a long period of time, Castro will work from behind shielding and use video monitors and a remote crane control to do the job.
“Cervando has a lot of experience in the lab, he’s our main crane guy,” says Mike Andrews, who coordinates the work on the NuMI beam line this summer. Castro, who has a background in welding and auto mechanics, is the senior technician for the NuMI target hall. He was thrilled when he started to work on the NuMI beam line, which is located in a 4,000-foot-long tunnel below the Fermilab site.
“The first couple of times I was pretty excited to go down 150 feet into the NuMI target hall,” Castro says. Assigned to the NuMI beam line, he has to be available day or night as his job requires. “I’m willing to do that because I want to help make this place run smoothly,” he says.—Tia Jones
[Kurt Riesselmann, 630.840.5681,