The new AMS control centre

Construction work for the future AMS control room began in November 2010 and should be finished this June. The new building, which will have been completed in record time thanks to the professionalism of the project team, will soon be ready to receive the initial data from the AMS experiment.


Luigi Scibile and Michael Poehler, from the GS department, at the AMS control centre construction site.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) is due to wing its way towards the International Space Station (ISS) on board the shuttle Discovery in April. Mainly intended for research on antimatter and dark matter, the data collected by AMS will be sent to Houston in the United States and then directly to CERN’s new Building 946.

Construction work for the AMS control centre building on the Route Gentner at CERN’s Prévessin site started in November 2010 and must be completed in time to receive the first data from the spectrometer in June. “It normally takes at least 12 months to construct a building like this, but we will have to do it in less than eight months to keep pace with the AMS schedule!” explains Michael Poehler, who is in charge of the work site within GS Department. To meet this challenge, CERN urgently put together a task force of over 50 people, comprising members of the Organization and contract personnel. “We are operating a very rigorous quality control procedure”, explains Luigi Scibile, head of the Site Engineering Group within GS Department, “and weekly coordination meetings and work site meetings enable us to avoid any risk of slippage. For this type of project, communication between the different members of the team is absolutely vital!”

So for the time being construction work will continue to forge ahead. The future Building 946 should be delivered on schedule in mid-June.


by Anaïs Schaeffer