DLNP, along with the whole world, is going through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees are working remotely, the shift work was optimized to reduce personal contacts. Comparing to the usual “every-day” reality, there are much fewer people on the DLNP site and deep silence in the hallways of the Laboratory buildings.⠀
Nonetheless, studies and experiments are not cancelled! We admire our colleagues who are fulfilling their plans and continue working despite sick leaves of employees, delivery and business trip problems. ⠀
On the eve of the approaching holidays, the DLNP Group of Scientific Communication visited several laboratory departments and got to know how our researchers work at a time of increasing restrictions.
Maksim Kruglov, an engineer of the DLNP Experimental Department of Nuclear Spectroscopy and Radiochemistry, guided the tour of the DLNP manufacturing area (“Alpha hall”) where optical modules for the Baikal Neutrino Observatory are assembled.
All the operations in the area are performed in accordance with the production cycle. On the day of our visit, photomultiplier tubes, light emitting diodes with prisms and spherical screens were being glued into glass module hemispheres. After that, modules had to be fully assembled and tested. ⠀
Not everything runs smoothly — COVID-19 restrictions caused some problems with financing and deliveries on the part of partners. Nevertheless, assembly of optical modules — 650 of them — will be completed according to the schedule. Maksim Kruglov believes that the last year achievements were great and is proud of his colleagues who despite the COVID-19 challenges work accurately and efficiently using all possible options.
The next batch of modules will start off to Lake Baikal in January.
And in the middle of February, the 2021 Baikal expedition will be launched. Expedition members are looking forward to its beginning. Of course, there are still some more steps to go — everyone will be tested for antibodies to COVID-19, and, if necessary, get vaccinated. However, the sunny winter Baikal is calling, and finished optical modules are waiting for their turn to be submerged into the Baikal water. That is why the spirits of the Baikal expedition members are quite festive and bright!
Happy New Year! We wish you that all your resolutions and dreams come true!