World Online - May 2011
Minus K Technology's 'Negative-Stiffness' Vibration Isolators
For One-Ton Cryogenic Detector
Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) has
installed three custom vibration isolators for experiments
within the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events
(CUORE), located within Gran Sasso mountain, the highest
peak in the Apennines about 100 km (62 miles) from Rome.
CUORE is a detector for neutrinoless double-beta decay and
other rare events such as detection of dark matter like
axions or weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs).
The new generation one-ton scale cryogenic detector will
have a total mass of about 1,500 kg (3,300 pounds) and must
be cooled to less than 10 mK (millikelvin) in a vibration-free
environment. The cryostat is isolated by a two-stage isolation
system. The first stage is by the low-frequency Minus-K
isolators using patented Negative-Stiffness Mechanism (NSM)
technology. The second isolation stage is provided by regular
springs at the top end of the suspension bars.
"These isolators were not only made to isolate at 0.5
Hz, but they had to withstand a seismic shock while under
load," says Dr. David Platus, inventor of Negative-Stiffness
Mechanism vibration isolation. "The NSM isolators offer
better isolation performance than air or active isolation
Collaborators on the CUORE project includes a consortium
of members from UC Berkeley, UCLA, Livermore Lab, Berkeley
Lab, Cal Poly, University of Wisconsin, University of South
Carolina, University of Milan-Bicocca, University of Florence,
Leiden University, University of Zaragoza, University of
Rome, University of Genoa, University of Insubria, University
of Padua, National Institute Nuclear Physics (INFN), National
Laboratory of Legnaro and Gran Sasso National Laboratory
in Italy. Minus K Technology works with many aerospace and
education laboratories for custom vibration isolation systems.
It offers a line of standard bench top, table and floor
platform vibration isolation products. The company was founded
in 1993 to develop, manufacture and market state-of-the-art
vibration isolation products based on its patented Negative-Stiffness
technology. Minus K is based in the Los Angeles area.
For more information, visit www.minusk.com.
SOURCE: Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics
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