CERN is the world's largest particle physics research centre and operates a vast complex of particle accelerators. The 60-year history of CERN is marked with impressive achievements in the construction and operation of powerful linear and circular accelerators. Since 2010 CERN has been operating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful accelerator in the world. The Sources Targets and Interactions (STI) Group in CERN’s Engineering department is responsible for the design, installation, control and maintenance of beam intercepting devices in the CERN accelerators complex. These devices become radioactive as a result of their interactions with the high energy particle beams; for this reason the STI group is working on the development and deployment of remote inspection, measurement and handling equipment for use in support of the group’s operational activities.
As an end user of the developments arising from the research activities of the AutoMap team, CERN provides the use case along with technical data to ensure that the IIT challenger team has all necessary information on the equipment to be handled and the infrastructure. CERN’s main tasks include providing access to full scale mock-up test facilities at CERN and carrying out hardware modifications to beam-line equipment used in the trials if needed to improve its compatibility with robotic as opposed to manual assembly capabilities.
The CERN team members have previous experience in telerobotics development and operation along with participation in European projects.