A compact ultra-clean system for deploying radioactive sources inside the KamLAND detector

T. I. Banks, S. J. Freedman, J. Wallig, N. Ybarrolaza, A. Gando, Y. Gando, H. Ikeda, K. Inoue, Y. Kishimoto, M. Koga, T. Mitsui, K. Nakamura, I. Shimizu, J. Shirai, A. Suzuki, Y. Takemoto, K. Tamae, K. Ueshima, H. Watanabe, B. D. XuH. Yoshida, S. Yoshida, A. Kozlov, C. Grant, G. Keefer, A. Piepke, T. Bloxham, B. K. Fujikawa, K. Han, K. Ichimura, H. Murayama, T. O'Donnell, H. M. Steiner, L. A. Winslow, D. A. Dwyer, R. D. McKeown, C. Zhang, B. E. Berger, C. E. Lane, J. Maricic, T. Miletic, M. Batygov, J. G. Learned, S. Matsuno, M. Sakai, G. A. Horton-Smith, K. E. Downum, G. Gratta, Y. Efremenko, O. Perevozchikov, H. J. Karwowski, D. M. Markoff, W. Tornow, K. M. Heeger, J. A. Detwiler, S. Enomoto, M. P. Decowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We describe a compact, ultra-clean device used to deploy radioactive sources along the vertical axis of the KamLAND liquid-scintillator neutrino detector for purposes of calibration. The device worked by paying out and reeling in precise lengths of a hanging, small-gauge wire rope (cable); an assortment of interchangeable radioactive sources could be attached to a weight at the end of the cable. All components exposed to the radiopure liquid scintillator were made of chemically compatible UHV-cleaned materials, primarily stainless steel, in order to avoid contaminating or degrading the scintillator. To prevent radon intrusion, the apparatus was enclosed in a hermetically sealed housing inside a glove box, and both volumes were regularly flushed with purified nitrogen gas. An infrared camera attached to the side of the housing permitted real-time visual monitoring of the cable's motion, and the system was controlled via a graphical user interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Detector alignment and calibration methods (lasers, Sources, Particle-beams)
  • Large detector systems for particle and astroparticle physics
  • Scintillators, Scintillation and light emission processes (solid, Gas and liquid scintillators)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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