Two-shift operation for PRISMA at the research reactor TRIGA Mainz

For the User Facility at the research reactor TRIGA Mainz – one of the key facilities of the research cluster of excellence PRISMA - an experimental program with ultra-cold neutrons (UCN) was recently carried out in a three weeks long beam time that ended May, 8th 2015. The experiment was dedicated to the production, transport and subsequent storage of ultra-cold neutrons. For this, the TRIGA Mainz was operated in a two-shift mode for a total of three weeks.
At beam port D of the TRIGA Mainz UCN were produced via the interaction of neutrons with a deuterium ice crystal kept at 5 K by means of cooling with liquid helium. Once produced, the crystal remained stable and in perfect shape for the whole 3 weeks period. Tests with different neutron guides and storage volumes were performed for optimization of UCN production efficiency. Furthermore UCN were successfully extracted from the reactor and introduced into the so-called -SPECT apparatus, a set-up specially designed for the precise measurement of the neutron life time