Construction works are at 84% and the electron accelerator begins to be assembled in March
The construction of Sirius, the new Brazilian synchrotron light source, is advancing. In March, the first of the three electron accelerators begins to be installed: the LINAC, or linear accelerator, which is responsible for the initial emission and acceleration of the electrons. The building, now 84% completed, will soon be in the right conditions to receive installation of the remaining electron accelerators: booster and storage ring.
Sirius is the largest and most complex scientific infrastructure ever built in Brazil. Sirius will be a state-of-the-art scientific tool, open to the research community from Brazil and abroad. The new synchrotron light source will open new perspectives for research in strategic areas such as health, agriculture, energy, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and many others.
The 68,000-square-foot Sirius building is among the most sophisticated constructions ever built in the Brazil, with unprecedented mechanical and thermal stability requirements.
In December 2017, the most critical phase of the construction was completed: the installation of the floor where the electron accelerators will be installed.
Considered a challenge due to its requirements, the critical floor consists of a single piece of reinforced concrete, 90 cm thick, which consumed about 70,000 cubic meters of special concrete of very low shrinkage, in addition to 900 metric tons of steel. The dimensional tolerance for the special floor of the accelerators is ± 10 mm. Measurements made after completion of construction show compliance with all technical stability requirements, with maximum deviations of ± 9 mm.
Since the Sirius electron beam is expected to have micrometric dimensions, stability in this region is considered a critical parameter of the constructive process. The more concentrated the electron beam, the better and brighter the synchrotron light produced and delivered to the researchers. Hence, since the synchrotron light is responsible for traversing the samples and revealing the information about the materials investigated, the quality of the light generated by the acceleration of the electrons is key for the quality of the research results.
Schedule and funding
The first electron loop in the Sirius accelerators is expected to occur in the second half of 2018. The opening to researchers will happen a year later, after commissioning.
The complete project – which includes the building, the accelerators, 13 beamlines, in addition to human resources – requires investments of 1.8 billion, to be executed by 2020. This amount is being funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC). The Project is also one of the scientific infrastructure projects included in the “Agora, é Avançar” federal program.
About 85% of its R$1.8 billion budget will be executed nationally. More than 200 Brazilian companies are involved in partnerships with the Sirius Project. Among those, about 40 companies have been working on technological developments especially for Sirius.