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An On-Line Acoustic Fluorocarbon Coolant Mixture Analyzer for the ATLAS Silicon Tracker

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21 Author(s)
R. Bates ; Dept. of Phys. & Astron., Univ. of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK ; M. Battistin ; S. Berry ; A. Bitadze
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The ATLAS silicon tracker community foresees an upgrade from the present octafluoropropane (C3F8) evaporative cooling fluid to a composite fluid with a probable 10-20% admixture of hexafluoroethane (C2F6). Such a fluid will allow a lower evaporation temperature and will afford the tracker silicon substrates a better safety margin against leakage current-induced thermal runaway caused by cumulative radiation damage as the luminosity profile at the CERN Large Hadron Collider increases. Central to the use of this new fluid is a new custom-developed speed-of-sound instrument for continuous real-time measurement of the C3F8/C2F6 mixture ratio and flow. An acoustic vapour mixture analyzer/flow meter with new custom electronics allowing ultrasonic frequency transmission through gas mixtures has been developed for this application. Synchronous with the emission of an ultrasound `chirp' from an acoustic transmitter, a fast readout clock (40 MHz) is started. The clock is stopped on receipt of an above threshold sound pulse at the receiver. Sound is alternately transmitted parallel and anti-parallel with the vapour flow for volume flow measurement from transducers that can serve as acoustic transmitters or receivers. In the development version, continuous real-time measurement of C3F8/C2F6 flow and calculation of the mixture ratio is performed within a graphical user interface developed in PVSS-II, the Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition standard chosen for LHC and its experiments at CERN. The described instrument has numerous potential applications - including refrigerant leak detection, the analysis of hydrocarbons, vapour mixtures for semi-conductor manufacture and anesthetic gas mixtures.

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IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 5 )