CERN Accelerating science

 Forging links between industry and fundamental science
 by Johannes Gutleber (CERN) with Alexandra Welsch (UNILIV)

Industry participation - exhibitor stand 
Image credit: FCC

A future energy frontier research infrastructure requires current technologies to be pushed far beyond the state-of-the-art. Achieving collider parameters in an affordable and sustainable manner calls for breakthroughs in technologies, such as high-field magnets, superconducting radiofrequency cavities, and efficient RF power sources. This creates unprecedented opportunities for partnerships between academia and industry to the benefit of society.

The FCC study is committed to involving industry partners from the beginning, to jointly define the research and development roadmaps and to launch knowledge transfer programs. Starting collaboration at an early stage creates a mutually beneficial situation. It helps industry carry out strategic planning and provides the research community with better confidence in product quality and enhanced cost control. Nine key players from industry joined FCC Week as sponsors and several more attended the technical sessions, giving a glimpse of both the technical capabilities and economical needs that are required to overcome today’s technical limits.

For example, the R&D program of a 16 Tesla superconducting accelerator magnet, suitable for a 100 TeV hadron collider, calls for focused activities around the improvement of Nb3Sn based low-temperature superconductors in sufficiently large quantities and with ample performance margin, never produced before. Potential suppliers not only face the obvious challenges with respect to an increase of the critical current density and the sustained delivery of large quantities at high quality levels, but also the need to deliver improved materials and quantities at affordable cost for high-energy physics applications, as well as for other solid business cases.

To better understand the opportunities for high field applications in all relevant domains, dedicated technical R&D will be required together with business-case scouting, as foreseen by the EuroCirCol knowledge and innovation management task.


 Highlights from the FCC week 
 by Cristina Martin Perez (CERN), Charlotte Houghton (STFC)

Opening session by US congressman Bill Foster
Image credit: FCC

The FCC Week 2015 took place in  Washington DC (USA) from 23 to 27 march 2015 and drew the attention of 340 participants from science and industry. The first annual meeting of this visionary study marked a milestone of the first exploratory study phase. 290 contributions from all domains of the study give impressive evidence of the progress achieved and the challenges ahead.

The FCC-hh and FCC-ee machine studies are progressing in all units and are preparing to make the critical choices to achieve the performance and availability goals. The teams are now focusing on baseline parameters and a preliminary layout. First integrated lattices have been shown. It became clear that designing machines that can meet the required parameters calls for considerable R&D efforts far beyond the current state-of-science. Consensus between scientists, engineers and industry is that significant advances in superconducting magnets, in SRF technologies and RF power sources and other key technologies are needed; and that these need to be launched now to be ready for new machines by the mid 2030ies. The EuroCirCol EU Horizon 2020 project targets the core aspects of the hadron collider design, such as the arc & IR optics and the feasibility studies of key technologies like a 16 T accelerator magnet.

Industry participation - exhibitor stand 
Image credit: FCC

With the current developments in accelerator design and technology there has been substantial progress on the geology studies for a tunnel in the Geneva area.  These studies have been linked to the CERN accelerator complex, based on 93 km and 100 km scenarios, which fit well the geographical conditions. First ideas discussed are on installation aspects, global computing infrastructures beyond the Grid, controls and machine protection, as well as operational aspects such as energy consumption and safety, were addressed.

Looking forward to an intense year 2015 aiming at substantial progress for the study to be reported during the FCC Week 2016, unique physics capabilities and discovery potentials will be documented in the near future. FCC working groups have scanned the physics panorama both beyond and within the Standard Model and have identified the main areas where new methods for theoretical calculations or experimental inputs are needed. The implementation of a common environment for physics and detector simulations has progressed. This allows performing detailed event simulations to help match and understand better requirements of the detectors.

An inspiring talk by US congressman Bill Foster reminded the audience how high-energy physicists should “never be shy for standing up for the unique nature of their field, and never be afraid of big numbers”. The FCC the week witnessed significant eagerness from the US particle and accelerator community to collaborate in the global R&D effort, focusing on studies of superconducting materials and designs for high-field magnets suitable for a 100 TeV c.m. proton-proton collider. Technological and manufacturing breakthroughs are needed here to meet both, performance and cost goals.

Michael Benedikt, FCC Study leader, pointed out that 2015 should be the year in which the world-wide collaboration reaches consensus agreement on the baseline parameters and concepts and fleshes out the collider layout, injector and infrastructure concepts. “It is time to put a Nb3Sn 16 Tesla magnet program on solid feet, to define and launch other selected technology R&D programs”, says Benedikt. The FCC community will reinforce physics and detector simulations, and will pursue MDI and experiment studies. The 2016 annual FCC Week will take place in Rome, Italy.



  Modelling the future FCC tunnel
  by Johannes Gutleber

The BIM tool dashboard: a user-friendly digital environment with 3D datasets and decision aid tools. Image credit: CERN and ARUP

Arup, a world leader in infrastructure planning and design, has been appointed by CERN to develop an efficient and cost effective planning and decision aid tool for the FCC tunnel engineering and geotechnical studies.

The first phase of the conceptual design study includes the feasibility assessment of an 80 km to 100 km long underground infrastructure for the collider. To support this study, Arup has been working closely with CERN and project partners Géotechnique Appliquée Dériaz S.A. and Amberg Engineering AG. A key element of this stage was the development of a dynamic Web-based BIM (Building Information Modelling) application. This application integrates numerous existing geological data sources, incorporating the geological, tunnelling and particle collider system constraints in a user-friendly digital environment. “To make the decisions, and make sure it interfaces with the existing tunnels, we decided to capture all the data in a 3D environment. We can change the physical parameters of the project in real time – looking at the geology, the size of the ring, the depth of the shafts, and the slope.”, says Matt Sykes, ARUP project director.

The BIM application builds upon an open source web-based geographical information system called ESRI. This approach allows integrating publicly available data on the geography and geology of the region, hydrology information and more data if needed.

The web application can be controlled via a dashboard (see Figure 1) that enables scientists to visualize the effects of parameter changes in real time. The use of an open-source platform ensures that extensions and improvements can be realized easily over a long study and design duration. Participants located all over the world can extract a spreadsheet, amend it and upload the revised version. At later stages, further datasets will be overlaid on top of the existing data, and the current, 2D visualisations would be extended to 3D.

“Several layouts for this new machine are under consideration, with the tunnel circumference ranging from 80 to 100 km. This tool being developed by Arup, will be crucial in the decision making process, to help decide which layout is most feasible”, says John Osborne, Civil Engineer at CERN.

This kind of dynamic tool, integrating numerous different data sets into a single, interactive application can help cutting costs and study times. It can also improve the quality and clarity of decision-basis information of numerous underground civil engineering projects which go beyond the particle accelerator community. Public transport and road projects, which need to consider diverse and ever-changing constraints ranging from technical over cost to environmental, legal and societal are primary candidates for this technology, bringing instantaneous decision aid to the desktop of the project key stakeholders.

Stay tuned for updates on the Future Circular Collider study. Register for the FCC week, the first Annual Meeting of the FCC study to be held between 23-27 March 2015.