Installation and test of a Getter pumping station for the Vacuum System of Virgo

European Gravitational Observatory

Internship 3 months Cascina, Italy

Uploaded 23 Dec 2018

Job Description

VIRGO is a 3 km long gravitational-wave detector is located in Cascina, near Pisa in Italy. Several technologies of various engineering fields are employed in the Virgo experiment: in particular, the entire instrumentation (main optics, laser beams, 'super-attenuator' assemblies) are installed under vacuum in order to avoid disturbances due to the residual gas molecules interactions. In order to reach the required vacuum level, at a pressure lower than 10-8 mbar, exceptionally large chambers have been built and put in operation, equipped with different types of pumping systems specialized for the different phases of the evacuation process (mechanical compressors, cryogenic pumps, ion pumps, getter pumps). 

The getter type pumps are constituted by porous surfaces of Ti alloys chemically reacting with the prevalent gas species (1-12, 1-120, N2, 02, ...) that are thus caught (pumped). These are particularly suitable for the lower pressure range, with the advantage of being free of mechanical vibrations and intrinsically safe. In collaboration within the Vacuum team, the candidate will install a Getter pump (Titanium sublimation or NEG) in one station of the Virgo vacuum arms. The main tasks include activating the pump, verifying its performances, monitoring the gas composition and pressure, and finally estimating the regeneration time interval.

For the whole duration of the internship, EGO will pay a gross monthly wage of 500,00 euro and offer the lunch service at its canteen during working days to the student.

Interested candidates are invited to fill in the Internship Application Form and send it, together with the CV, to [email protected]

Person Specification

Applicants should be in their last years of study in Engineering (Bachelor/Laurea triennale in mechanics, or equivalent technical - industrial specialty). 

English required, european citizenship, no criminal convictions. 


    • EU National