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Development of the liquid level meters for the PandaX dark matter detector

Chinese Physics C, Vol.38, 056002(2014)

The two-phase xenon detector is at the frontier of dark matter direct search. This kind of detector uses liquid xenon as the sensitive target and is operated in two-phase (liquid/gas) mode, where the liquid level needs to be monitored and controlled in sub-millimeter precision. In this paper, we present a detailed design and study of two kinds of level meters for the PandaX dark matter detector. The long level meter is used to monitor the overall liquid level while short level meters are used to monitor the inclination of the detector. These level meters are cylindrical capacitors that are custom-made from two concentric metal tubes. Their capacitance values are read out by a universal transducer interface chip and are recorded by the PandaX slow control system. We present the developments that lead to level meters with long-term stability and sub-millimeter precision. Fluctuations (standard deviations) of less than 0.02 mm for the short level meters and less than 0.2 mm for the long level meter were achieved during a few days of test operation.


The cryogenic system for the Panda-X dark matter search experiment

Journal of Instrumentation, Vol.8, p01002(2013)

Panda-X is a liquid xenon dual-phase detector for the Dark Matter Search. The first modestly-sized module will soon be installed in the China JinPing Deep Underground Laboratory in Sichuan province, P.R. China. The cryogenic system is designed to handle much larger detectors, even the final version in the ton scale. Special attention has been paid to the reliability, serviceability, and adaptability to the requirements of a growing experiment. The system is cooled by a single Iwatani PC150 Pulse Tube Refrigerator. After subtracting all thermal losses, the remaining cooling power is still 82 W. The fill speed was 0.75 g/s, but could be boosted by $LN_{2}$ assisted cooling to 3.3 g/s. For the continuous recirculation and purification through a hot getter, a heat exchanger was employed to reduce the required cooling power. The recirculation speed is limited to 2.9 g/s by the gas pump. At this speed, recirculation only adds 18.5 W to the heat load of the system, corresponding to a 95.2 % efficiency of the heat exchanger.