The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), a multi-disciplinary research facility. ESS’s vision is to build and operate the world’s most powerful neutron source, enabling new opportunities for researchers across the spectrum of scientific discovery, including materials and life sciences, energy, environmental technology, cultural heritage and fundamental physics.

ESS is a pan-European project with 15 European nations as members and Sweden and Denmark as host nations. The ESS facility is being built in Lund, while the ESS Data Management and Software Centre (DMSC) is located in Copenhagen. Around two to three thousand guest researchers will carry out experiments at ESS each year. Most of the users will be based at European universities and institutes, others within industry.

The European Spallation Source is one of the largest science and technology infrastructure projects being built today globally. The facility design and construction includes the most powerful linear proton accelerator ever built, a four-tonne, helium-cooled tungsten target wheel, two dozen state-of-the-art neutron instruments, a suite of laboratories, and a super computing data management and software development center.

The construction of the facility began in the summer of 2014. Scientists and engineers from more than 100 partner laboratories are working on updating and optimising the technical design of the ESS facility. These partner laboratories, universities and research institutes are also contributing human resources, knowledge, equipment, and financial support through In-Kind Contributions that will comprise up to 40 percent of the construction budget.

Obviously, this complex design effort requires precision and coordination at a technical level. Optiphore plays a key role by contributing to the ESS Plant Layout (EPL) maintenance and Spatial Integration activities. EPL is the 3-dimensional master digital assembly comprising the whole ESS facility i.e. the buildings, the accelerator and target, all the scientific instruments as well as the necessary infrastructure in the form of electrical systems, piping, cooling and ventilation systems, etc. Our work mainly focuses on:

  • The maintenance of the ESS Plant Layout model by means of Catia V6. This assembly serves as reference for all the involved designers.
  • Spatial Integration of all the machinery and infrastructure components (space allocation, clash analysis, 3D interfaces, etc.).
  • Monitoring of the CAD design work progress and its maturity level.
  • Support with the formulation of Spatial Integration and Configuration Management methodology.
  • Participation in the implementation of a Virtual Reality system to support Spatial Integration work.