U.S. Particle Accelerator School
U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Education in Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology

Mechanical Alignment


Michigan State University

Course Name:

Mechanical Alignment


Georg Gassner and Michael Gaydosh, SLAC

Purpose and Audience
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the survey and geometric alignment of particle beam accelerators. This course is suitable for final-year undergraduate physics, Engineering or other related field students who want to gain a deeper understanding of the methodology applied to Large-Scale Metrology (LSM) Accelerator Alignment. Moreover, this course also can provide a broader background to engineers and technicians working in the particle accelerator field.

Elementary concepts of Probability Theory and Statistics, Linear Algebra and Geometry.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they meet the course prerequisites or have equivalent experience.

This introductory course will span from alignment instrumentation and measurement principles to monitoring equipment with a focus on the basic principles of LSM as applied to the alignment of particle accelerators. Fundamental principles of geodesy, which are needed to build global and local reference frames, are introduced. The geodesy specific notation of least-squares data analysis is presented. Survey and alignment procedures and technologies are explored, with an emphasis on applications found in the field of particle accelerators. On completion of this course, the students are expected to understand the basic approach to accelerator alignment, survey methods and best practices. Furthermore, they will be able to analyze the geometry of alignment reference networks and of survey observations.

Instructional Method
This course includes a series of lectures during morning and afternoon sessions. The afternoon will usually include laboratory sessions, which will introduce students to computer simulations and data analysis, and provide hands-on exploration of alignment equipment. Problem sets may be assigned and will be expected to be completed outside of scheduled class sessions. Two instructors will be available.

Course Content
This course is based first on a methodical / mathematical part which is accompanied by a practical / instrumental section with examples and real live applications.  Instruction material will be distributed.

First, geodetic aspects of reference frames will be emphasized. Specifically it will be demonstrated how to establish localized geodetic reference systems, including applying them to the experiment coordinate system. Relationships between all these references systems will be studied. Special emphasis on height systems and their implementation will be provided.

On the instrument side, the course will illustrate how to use laser trackers, digital levels and other alignment equipment. Special emphasis will be given to differentiating the instruments for specific applications and the obtainable measurement accuracy. Examples of recent alignment projects will be discussed. The theory portion will focus on the principle of least-squares adjustment and its application to alignment reference networks and data analysis will be given.

As an additional topic, geometric monitoring systems will be presented.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) "Engineering Surveying" 6th edition, by W. Schofield and Mark Breach, CRC Press Taylor & Francis Publishers 2007.

Optional Reading
“Geodesy”, W. Torge, 2 nd Edition, de Gryter, Berlin, 1991
“GPS – Theory and Practice”, B. Hofmann-Wellenhof, et.al., 5 th Edition, Springer Verlag, New York, 2001

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance: final exam (40 % of final grade), homework assignments (60 % of final grade).

USPAS Computer Requirements
There will be no Computer Lab and all participants are required to bring their own portable computer to access online course notes and computer resources.  This can be a laptop or a tablet with a sufficiently large screen and keyboard. Windows, Mac, and Linux-based systems that are wifi capable and have a standard web browser and mouse are all acceptable.  You should have privileges for software installs. If you are unable to bring a computer, please contact uspas@fnal.gov ASAP to request a laptop loan.  Very limited IT support and spare loaner laptops will be available during the session.

Michigan State University course number:  PHY 905 Section 701, Special Problems
Indiana University course number: Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
MIT course number: 8.790, Accelerator Physics