News: HENSA Prepares for Long-Term Neutron Background Campaign at Gran Sasso

Barcelona, Spain (April 9th, 2024)

The ENPAI (Experimental Nuclear Physics, Applications, and Instrumentation) research group, part of the Advanced Nuclear Technology (ANT) group at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), is pleased to announce a new campaign to measure neutron background levels at the prestigious Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. This long-term initiative will utilize the HENSA spectrometer, a collaborative effort between ENPAI (UPC) and the IFIC Institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

HENSA detector setup at UPC's laboratory

HENSA setup for Gran Sasso at UPC

HENSA being setup for Gran Sasso at UPC

Ph.D. student N. Mont setting up HENSA for Gran Sasso at UPC

HENSA: A State-of-the-Art Neutron Detection System

The HENSA spectrometer is a cutting-edge instrument designed for high-efficiency detection of neutrons across a broad range of energies. In this campaign, it will be deployed to precisely measure the ambient neutron background within the Gran Sasso underground laboratory.

Collaboration for Underground Research

This campaign signifies the start of a collaborative effort between ENPAI (UPC) and the Gran Sasso National Laboratory. As the world's largest underground laboratory dedicated to neutrino and astroparticle physics, Gran Sasso (LNGS) offers a unique research environment for scientists exploring the intersection of particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics. Its advanced infrastructure, unparalleled in scale and complexity, provides ideal conditions for these sensitive studies.

Long-Term Measurements to Understand Background Signals

The campaign will involve long-term (several months) measurements of the neutron background. The presence of neutrons can generate spurious signals within the low-background experiments conducted at Gran Sasso. By accurately characterizing this background, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of their data and refine their analyses of fundamental physical phenomena.