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The Last Block: NOvA far detector complete

The last dtector module is put into place by the block pivoter
The last detector module was put into place by the block pivoter on February 25, 2014
Bill Miller

The last piece of the NOvA far detector was put into place at 4:55 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25th. The far detector consists of thousands of modules filled with liquid scintillator. The NOvA far-detector is the world's largest free-standing PVC structure.

10,752 40-ft long modules were assembled in a factory near the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus under the supervision of Nathaniel Pearson of School of Physics and Astronomy. Pearson said the project came in on time and on budget, using primarily student labor.

The modules were shipped north to Ash River, Minnesota where they were assembled by a gigantic robotic "block pivoter" into the far detector blocks. Each block contains 384 modules and weighs 1,000 pounds. Bill Miller, Administrative Professional at the School, was in charge of coordinating the Far Detector installation. Miller called the last block, a "major milestone" in building the detector. He noted that the job of filling the modules with liquid scintillator should be completed in mid-April and the electronics for the detector should be fully installed by June, 2014. Miller said that the installation was done in less time and there fore more cheaply than originally estimated.

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