Two years and 7 months passed and only 5 months left to finish. A mind-blowing period of time that passed by so fast and a very outstanding journey full of difficulties but taught me how to stay positive, how to stay optimistic and how to be successful. However, the past year was not totally successful but a huge amount of work was performed and results were obtained especially in the simulation part. Actually, in the last newsletter, I illustrated the simulation methodology that contains three different processes: optical, thermal and thermo-mechanical analysis of the behavior of silicon carbide-CVD material and the results of these analyses are quite acceptable and promising.

This past year, a secondment of six months was performed in Italy at Advanced VIRGO site and it consisted of two main investigations: experimental to measure and evaluate the reflectivity and absorption of SiC-CVD at cryogenic temperature for a couple of infra-red wavelengths and numerical analysis as explained in the previous paragraph. Unfortunately, with a huge regret, this period was a waste of time regarding the experimental part due to delays and some other problems  that have now endangered my PhD situation at which I still do not know if I will be able to finish on time or not. But, concerning the simulation, it was very encouraging and successful that allows me to illustrate some of the recent results obtained thermally and mechanically for the baffles.

Thermally, we performed a steady state study with ABAQUS FEM software at room (300 K) and cryogenic (30 K) temperatures for the SiC-CVD material. The thermal load that was used in this simulation was the scattering field obtained from the optical simulation. In this analysis, two radiative processes were taken into consideration: Radiative Exchange with the surroundings (a) and Radiative Exchange with the test mass (b). Only situation (a) is investigated but situation (b) is under investigation and the results of situation (a) are shown below:


Mechanically, to study the stress, strain and deformation of the design, we used as an input load the un-uniform temperature distribution obtained from the thermal analysis. Moreover, since the mechanical support of the baffles for the future generation detectors is still not well defined, we considered three different mechanical boundary conditions for our investigation: A body free to move (a), totally fixed edge “Encastre” (b) and the current baffle holding situation (c).

In all these cases, we found that SiC-CVD could be a potential promising candidate due to the fact that all the stress values and the deformation values were very low. Moreover, these values dropped even more at cryogenic temperature (compared to those at room temperature) and this is thanks to the very low value of thermal expansion at 30 K.

So, until today, the numerical analysis is still being updated for more comprehensive and accurate results; however, for the experimental part, it is planned on 16 October to go to Advanced VIRGO in order to finish the work, which will be the final secondment in this project.

Finally, concerning the effect of this project and my impressions about the Marie Curie Action program, It helped me to increase my communication skills and my confidence in myself by participating in the GWADW 2016 conference. It taught me how to deliver scientific notions to other scientists and non-scientists by participating in the outreach event at Advanced VIRGO in November 2016 that was a part of one of the GraWIToN schools.

So, I am very grateful for being a part of this program and my impression is that the MCA program is an outstanding program that will give birth to very bright and intelligent future scientists and researchers that will lead the world someday.



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