We have tried two different kinds of helium detectors with mixed success in terms of improving FoFu-1’s vacuum—We found some leaks, but not others. They were a Dielectric MGD-2002 and a GasCheck G3.
We’d like to take it up a notch with a residual gas analyzer. RGA’s tend to work up to about a maximum pressure of 10^-4 Torr, so we would most likely want a Partial Pressure Reduction add-on that would allow sampling for helium as the product of future pB11 shots at several Torr. Another benefit from the PPR would be if our base pressure in FoFu-1 was >10^-4, which is often the case, even though much higher vacuums should be standard operating procedure. A “sniffer” attachment for overpressure leak hunting (filling the chamber with >1atm helium) could be another plus.
Best of all we have a pledge towards the purchase of such a system, but first we want to make sure it will have both the functionality and ease-of-use we’d need without a dedicated vacuum technician. So large bonus to anything we could try before buying, rental or otherwise.
Some helpful background links:
Any experts out there wanna chime in with their recommendations?