Control of large helium cryogenic systems: a case study on CERN LHC
Technology Department, Cryogenic Group, CERN, Esplanade des Particules 1, 1217, Meyrin, CH, Switzerland
Accepted: 22 January 2021
Published online: 23 February 2021
The CERN cryogenic facilities demand a versatile, distributed, homogeneous and highly reliable control system. For this purpose, CERN conceived and developed several frameworks (JCOP, UNICOS, FESA, CMW), based on current industrial technologies and COTS equipment, such as PC, PLC and SCADA systems complying with the requested constraints. The cryogenic control system nowadays uses these frameworks and allows the joint development of supervision and control layers by defining a common structure for specifications and code documentation. Another important advantage of the CERN frameworks is the possibility to integrate different control systems into a large technical system with communication capability. Such a system is capable of sharing control variables from all accelerator apparatus in order to cope with the operation scenarios.The first implementation of this control architecture started in 2000 for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Since then CERN continued developing the hardware and software components of the cryogenic control system, based on the exploitation of the experience gained. These developments are always aimed at increasing the safety and improving the performance. To overcome the long-term maintenance challenges, key strategies such as the use of homogeneous hardware solutions and the optimization of the maintenance procedures were set up. They are easing the development of the control applications and the hardware configuration by allowing a structured and homogeneous approach. Furthermore, they reduce the needed manpower and minimize the financial impact of the periodical maintenance. In that context, the standardization of technical solutions both at hardware and software level simplify also the systems monitoring the operation and maintenance processes, while providing a high level of availability.
Key words: Large cryogenic system / Control system / LHC
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