Sanford Underground Research Facility
LZ, a second-generation dark matter experiment, is the successor to the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment, which took place at SURF between
2012 and 2016. LZ will hold 10 tons of liquid
xenon, making it approximately 30 times
larger and 100 times more sensitive than
its smaller cousin. When complete in 2020,
LZ will be the most sensitive detector in the
world, capable of sensing faint interactions
between dark matter particles and xenon
PROJECTS INSIDE THE DAVIS CAVERN
Cleanroom demolition: This space is
located on the upper level of the Davis
Cavern. It will be removed to accommodate additional computer racks and control
systems for LZ. It will also allow the LZ
collaboration to raise and lower equipment
(the grating on the floor can be removed)
to a work deck that will be constructed.
Work deck: This multi-purpose level
will be built above the water tank and
below the upper level of the cavern. It
will allow for easier access to the break-
out box, which holds the experiment
apparatus—things like detector cables
and electrical wires that connect to sys-
tems within the tank. The work deck will
also serve as additional storage.
Low-background counting rooms:
A wall between the two rooms on the
lower level of the Davis Cavern will be
removed to make way for four big compressors that will be used for emergency
xenon recovery. In the event of a power
outage, a backup generator will keep
everything, including the control systems, working.
Updated hoist system: A critical feature
in the Davis Cavern is the hoist system
that was used to lower the LUX cryostat
into the water tank. Renovations include
updating the current hoist system.
Water tank updates: When construction in the Davis Cavern is complete,
modifications can begin on the water
tank itself. Updates include new ports
and access points so new instrumentation can be installed inside the tank.
PROJECTS OUTSIDE THE DAVIS
Radon reduction: The South Dakota
School of Mines & Technology designed
a radon reduction system that will
pump low-radon filtered air into the
Davis Cavern, allowing LZ researchers
to construct their experiment in a clean
environment. The system will be housed
in an alcove just outside of the clean lab
spaces in the Davis Campus.
Xenon storage: Sanford Lab crews
recently completed subgrade excavation
in a cutout that sits at the top of the
decline drift, which gives access to the
back door of the Davis Cavern. Next,
a 4-inch concrete floor will be poured,
making it level with the floor of the drift.
As xenon tanks are brought in, crews
will be able to slide them into the storage
area, which will save time and mitigate
safety concerns associated with having to
lift heavy tanks into the area.
Constance Walter is the Communications
Director for the Sanford Underground
Research Facility. www.sanfordlab.org
Dark-matter lab located a mile underground in South Dakota
Image: Sanford Underground Research Facility
In April 2017, Laboratory Design published “Observing dark matter requires a very clean room,” regarding
the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. The lab is currently undergoing renovations.
Here is an update on its progress. For the full article, visit www.labdesignnews.com.