PSI has taken a pioneering role in advanced neutron imaging in Europe and worldwide for decades. In addition to the neutron imaging instruments NEUTRA and ICON the Applied Materials Group (AMG) of the Laboratory of Neutron Scattering and Imaging (LNS) is also operating a pioneering neutron engineering diffractometer, POLDI, utilizing pulse overlap to enable highly efficient high-resolution time-of-flight diffraction measurements at the continuous spallation neutron source SINQ of PSI. While having served for around 20 years successfully enabling outstanding results and achievements, both the thermal neutron imaging beamline NEUTRA and the strain scanner, POLDI meanwhile require significant makeovers to renew their seminal role, improve efficiency with newest neutron technology and pave the way for future advances as flagship instruments. In addition, the project will strive to also implement newest methodical developments of AMG at its cold neutron imaging beamline ICON and tune the test beamline, BOA, to share the heavy overload of the dedicated imaging instruments and extend their capabilities.
POLDI-1.2, will undergo a major upgrade replacing the old 90 deg 3He detector bank and adding a symmetric bank at -90 deg. While the replacement will already increase the efficiency the second bank will increase the angular coverage and will enable to probe two principal strain directions simultaneously. These are indispensable assets for in-situ and operando studies. Furthermore, significant neutron flux gain will be achieved by implementing a novel in-house developed adaptive neutron optics optimizing the focus for respective gauge volumes and studies. The upgrades will, thus, not only regain instrument reliability and capacity, through gain factors of up to half an order of magnitude, but will also enable new capabilities for in-situ (multi-axial) load studies but also operando experiments with e.g. additive manufacturing sample environments. Additional new capabilities will be realized through the transmission imaging detectors becoming available, drawing on our newly developed frame overlap Bragg edge imaging mode, and the option to host the FALCON detectors for our unique Laue 3D neutron diffraction tomography technique for grain mapping.
NEUTRA 2.0 implies a complete reconstruction of the instrument including the shielding bunker. This will create ample space required in modern neutron imaging instruments for complex measurement with bulk sample environments and supplies. It will enable full access to the front up measurement position #1 gaining half an order to one order of magnitude more flux, enabling the utilization of the neutron microscope detector with better than 4 mm spatial resolution. In addition, the modernized and more spacious interior will host components for advanced neutron imaging techniques such as in-situ bimodal neutron/x-ray imaging, monochromatic imaging and potentially a thermal neutron grating interferometer.
ICON+/+BOA will upgrade the velocity selector of ICON and potentially, depending on pending funding decisions, enable novel time-of-flight imaging techniques. BOA shall receive a velocity selector and a modular grating interferometer set-up shall serve both ICON+ and BOA, potentially also NEUTRA 2.0.
The AM-UP project team is led by the AMG group leader, while the sub-projects are delivered by P. Trtik (NEUTRA 2.0), E. Polatidis (POLDI 1.2) and P. Boillat (ICON+). The project involves key contributions and developments of the laboratories LIN and LTP and is scheduled to be completed in 2024. The impact of the project on the user program shall be minimized ideally enabling a nearly undisrupted user operation.