SABRE South and SUPL
The Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL) will be the home of the South component of the two-site SABRE experiment.
SUPL will be located within the Stawell Gold Mine, with the Laboratory itself at a physical depth below the surface of 1,025 metres. This depth is equivalent to a thickness of some 2,900 metres of water (2900 m.w.e.), with this expression in terms of equivalent depth of water being the standard way of comparing underground laboratory depths between sites.
Particle detection experiments such as SABRE (and many others) often are placed deep below ground in order to use the overlying rock layers (“overburden”) as a shield against types of naturally-occurring radiation that would interfere with the experiment’s measurements.
In essence, the overburden blocks a large proportion of such unwanted background noise, leading to a much better ratio of wanted signal to unwanted noise. Another benefit of such a location is the stable temperature at such depths, which can minimise the effect of thermal variations on the data.
The volume to be used for SUPL will be carved out of the rock near existing mine tunnels, and will be fitted out as a clean, thermally-stable environment in which to place the sensitive hardware which comprises the SABRE South experiment- as well as other experiments which will be located there in the future. Facilities will be in place for researchers to be at the Laboratory when required.
The experiment hardware will run attended, with monitoring systems keeping track of system parameters and ensuring safe operation of the experiment at all times. The hardware can also be monitored remotely, and data processing and analysis will take place both on-site and remotely.