MINOS far detector once again collecting data

The MINOS far detector, located in a cavern half a mile underground in the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota, began collecting cosmic ray data May 19 and is now taking NuMI beam data. Photo: Reidar Hahn.

On Saturday, June 11, the MINOS detector began taking beam data for the first time since a fire broke out in the Soudan Underground Laboratory in March.

The MINOS far detector came back online May 19, but shortly after, the NuMI beamline went offline for a target replacement. In the meantime, MINOS collected cosmic ray data, adding to its 10-year sample of atmospheric neutrinos.

The NuMI beamline is operating once again with a reconditioned target, and MINOS is now taking beam data with a full magnetic field, said Fermilab physicist Rob Plunkett, co-spokesperson for the MINOS neutrino experiment.

Since the fire, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, together with Fermilab, have worked steadily to get the laboratory up and running again. Electricians installed new power cables in April and scientists assessed the MINOS detector to ensure all the electronics and magnet components were dry and operational before turning the detector back on.

Christine Herman