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Title: Operational results on the fully automatic LHC collimator alignment
Authors: Azzopardi, Gabriella
Salvachua, Belen
Valentino, Gianluca
Redaelli, Stefano
Muscat, Adrian
Keywords: Large Hadron Collider (France and Switzerland)
Collimators (Optical instrument)
Issue Date: 2019-09
Publisher: American Physical Society
Citation: Azzopardi, G., Salvachua, B., Valentino, G., Redaelli, S., & Muscat, A. (2019). Operational results on the fully automatic LHC collimator alignment. Physical Review Accelerators and Beams, 22(9), 093001.
Abstract: The Large Hadron Collider has a complex collimation system installed to protect its sensitive equipment from normal and abnormal beam losses. The collimators are set around the beam following a multistage transverse setting hierarchy. The insertion position of each collimator is established using beam-based alignment techniques to determine the local beam position and rms beam size at each collimator. During previous years, collimator alignments were performed semiautomatically, with collimation experts present to oversee and control the alignment. During run II, a new fully automatic alignment tool was developed and used for collimator alignments throughout 2018. This paper discusses the improvements on the alignment software to automate it using machine learning, whilst focusing on the operational results obtained when testing the new software in the LHC. The alignment tests were conducted with both proton and ion beams, and angular alignments were performed with proton beams. This upgraded software successfully decreased the alignment time by a factor of 3 and made the results more reproducible, which is particularly important when performing angular alignments.
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