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Nicole Ackerman | SLAC | USA

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Nature 1, Science 0

Our detector, finally inserted into the TPC

Our detector, finally inserted into the TPC

While it seems like the pace on EXO has been at 110% for over a year now, things have been ramping up even more lately. We had a ‘software week’ the first week of January where analysis, DAQ, event displays, and many other code-related tasks were discussed. I walked away with many things to do and a very short time period in which most needed to be done.

I walked away… into the salt mine. I’ve been in New Mexico at WIPP – where EXO-200 is installed – since Jan 11th and I will be here until the end of the month. I’m spending most of my time in the cleanroom working towards sealing up the cryostat – now with the detector inside. My coding work has been getting done in the evenings and has proved to be more of a challenge than I had originally anticipated.

Then – nature strikes. It is the ‘rainy season’ in California right now and apparently the weather has been proving exactly how rainy it can be. Tuesday morning SLAC and Stanford lost power due to a storm. We figured that out here at WIPP when we couldn’t access the collaboration wiki where we keep all of the documentation. No one was allowed on site with the power off, so we had a hard time getting ahold of collaborators. We get a bit done and then head home. I start up my laptop and try to ssh in… with no luck, of course. I couldn’t access any of the code I am working on since it all is on SLAC servers.

We ended up spending 2 days without documentation, without SLAC-based e-mail, without a way to access files at SLAC (like important engineering drawings), and without a way for our collaborators to get us supplies from SLAC. Never before has California rain had such an impact 2000 ft underground in New Mexico!

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