Spectrometer tank for research centre

Spectrometer tank for the most precise scales in the world
transported to the Karlsruher Forschungszentrum (Karlsruhe Research Centre)

The most precise scales in the world have been created within the scope of KATRIN, the Karlsruhe tritium neutrino experiment. Using it, the mass of neutrinos is measured; the smallest particles in the world. The centrepiece of KATRIN is the main spectrometer, the largest ultra-high vacuum tank in the world to date. Due to its length of 24 meters, diameter of 10 metres and weight of 200 tonnes, the main spectrometer could not be transported by road from Bavarian Deggendorf to Karlsruhe in Baden. Instead, the huge tank was transported 8,800 kilometres across Europe via waterways before arriving via Rhine ship in Eggenstein- Leopoldshafen close to the research centre. On 25th November 2006, at 8:00 hours, the unloading of the giant commenced with the aid of the largest mobile heavy-duty load crane in Europe, an LRD 1750 by RIGA BAUMANN with a SLDB boom combination with a 56 m boom and 475 t ballast. Two SPMT transport combinations standing next to each other with 2 x 14 axle lines were ready to transport the main spectrometer into the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Due to the huge dimensions, trees along the approx. 7 km transportation route had to be cut in advance and in part had to be felled; traffic islands had to be supported and lanterns, signs and even high voltage lines had to be removed. Nevertheless, often only centimetres remained between the load and the surrounding developments. Accompanied by masses of spectator, the team from RIGA BAUMANN demonstrated almost unbelievable precision during this 3.5-hour transportation. Following a further hurdle, the crossing of the B 36, the container then arrived at the research centre in the afternoon and was parked there at an intermediate storage location.