DESIGN AND INSTALLATION OF THE AUTOMATIC SYSTEM FOR THE RRR MEASUREMENT ON NIOBIUM

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This thesis describes the design and implementation of the control system for an automated setup used to measure the residual resistivity ratio (RRR) of niobium for Superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities. The present work has been developed at Fermilab within the Technical Division SRF materials R&D group. Fermilab is involved in the research and development of the International Linear Collider (ILC), a project that will lead to the next generation high energy particle accelerator. The fundamental component of the ILC main linacs, which constitute the major block of the entire machine, is the SRF cavity. The cavities are made out of pure niobium which is superconducting below 9.2 K. Among others, RRR is an important parameter adopted to qualify the material used for cavity fabrication. The goal of the work reported in this thesis was to automate the new RRR measurement system designed at Fermilab in order to speed up the quality control process for the future production schedule of the project. The control system has been developed using matlab. This work can be divided in two phases: the first one consisted in the development and implementation of the data acquisition software including an advanced user interface, which has been fully completed and tested. The second one consisted in the implementation of control algorithms aiming to the automatic temperature control during the measurement process.