CERN Accelerating science

  A growing market for accelerator personnel in Europe
  by Philip Burrows (JAI, University of Oxford)


Reported skills shortages (number of institutes) vs. area of expertise. Click to enlarge. Image credit: TIARA.

The findings are revealing: an overall growth of 18% in personnel is projected over the next 5 years, driven largely by the construction of new facilities on this timescale. However a majority of respondents report difficulties in hiring suitable personnel, most notably engineers, and skills shortages are reported in a number of critical areas.

In 2011 the members of TIARA Work Package 5 “Education & Training” (WP5) conducted a survey of provision of accelerator science training across Europe which revealed some interesting facts (see Accelerating News issue 2). In our follow-on survey we have attempted to gauge the market needs for accelerator-related personnel by surveying major customers: laboratories, universities, companies and medical facilities that design, build or operate accelerators. We assessed the types, numbers, and qualification levels of required personnel, as well as issues of recruitment and skills shortages. The response was outstanding: 70 research institutes and 44 companies from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom completed the survey, accounting for more than 4500 personnel engaged in accelerator-related activities. The findings are described in full in the Needs for Accelerator Scientists report released recently.

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  R&D on C-band accelerators
  by David Alesini (INFN-LNF) and Marica Biagini (INFN-LNF)

Fig1:  Breakdown rates as measured at different field values before and after conditioning of the SPARC C-Band prototype. After processing, about 50 MV/m accelerating field has been reached, with a breakdown rate (BDR) per meter of the order of 10-6, which is a very good result in such structures. Image credits: INFN-LNF
Fig2: SPARC C-Band structure in the oven before brazing. Image credits: INFN-LNF


The use of Radio-Frequency C-Band accelerating structures for electron acceleration and production of high quality beams has been recently proposed and adopted in several linac projects all over the world.

Two important FEL projects have adopted such type of structures: the Japanese FEL project at SPring-8 and the Swiss-FEL project at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). Even if this technology is less known with respect to the more consolidated S-Band one, beam dynamics calculations and experimental measurements demonstrated the possibility to reach high beam quality and higher gradients, making the C-Band technology very appealing from this point of view. Possibilities to use C-Band structures for hadron therapy are also under study from several years and seem to be very promising.

In the SPARC photo-injector facility at the INFN Frascati National Laboratories (LNF, Italy) an R&D programme on C-Band structures is being carried out in order to upgrade the beam energy from 150 to more than 250 MeV in the facility. Involving both LNF and PSI, this programme is performed within the High Gradient Acceleration (HGA) Work Package of the TIARA Preparatory Phase.

The choice of the C-Band for the energy upgrade was dictated by the opportunity to achieve a higher accelerating gradient, enabled by the higher frequency, and to explore C-Band acceleration combined with a S-Band injector that, from beam dynamics simulations, looks very promising. The energy upgrade of SPARC will be done by replacing one low gradient S-Band accelerating structure with two C-Band structures.


  Accelerators for Society
  by Celine Tanguy (CEA)



Did you know that among the more than 26,000 particle accelerators currently in use worldwide, only 1% is used for research? Particle accelerators are vital instruments for both fundamental and applied research but they are also involved in a broad range of applications. A new brochure initiated within the TIARA preparatory phase invites readers to discover how accelerators benefit society.



Click here to have a look on the Accelerators for Society brochure.


  Mid-point of the TIARA Preparatory Phase
  by Celine Tanguy (CEA)

TIARA general mid-term meeting in Madrid on June 14th (click image to enlarge) Image credit: TIARA

Held at CIEMAT in Madrid on June 12-14, the TIARA general mid-term meeting marked the end of the first half of the three-year TIARA-PP project.

Various topics were showcased from within the project. From the organisational Work Packages: the infrastructure web-based database (WP3), the identification of the Key Areas for the TIARA R&D programme (WP4) and the results of education and training survey (WP5) were highlighted. The technical Work Packages (WP6 to WP9) provided details about the new world record vertical emittance in the Swiss Light Source storage ring, progress on the MICE RF system at the ITCF, C-band acceleration achievements at the SPARC facility and design of a multi MW irradiation facility for complex target testing.

During the meeting, a status of the EuCARD and ESS projects were presented as well as an overview of R&D and accelerator infrastructures in Spain, the involvement of the Spanish industrial sector for accelerator R&D and finally the role of the Research Infrastructures in Horizon 2020.

A Governing Council meeting, including the Steering Committee members, followed the general meeting.



  How many accelerator scientists are we training in Europe?
  by Philip Burrows (JAI, University of Oxford)

The total number of trainees (undergraduate to post-doctoral level and including staff) in each country. Data are shown for the academic year 2011 (green), 2010 (red) and the average per year over the 5 years 2005-2009 (blue) (click image to enlarge). Image credit: TIARA

It sounds like a simple question, but no one knew the answer until the recent TIARA survey revealed, perhaps surprisingly, that in recent years more than 1300 people are being trained annually in some aspect of accelerator science (see figure).

Understanding the provision of accelerator science training is one of the key aims of TIARA Work Package 5 “Education & Training” (WP5). To try to get answers to this and related questions, a web-based survey was performed between September 2011 and January 2012. Approximately 100 institutes were contacted in the TIARA member states: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In addition, responses were received from several institutes in Greece and the Netherlands. A total of 88 institutes provided data for the survey – a response that, we think, covers the majority of key players in the countries surveyed.

The WP5 team has digested the data and produced a comprehensive report that provides a remarkable snapshot of the current training situation. The data are also in the process of being made available in a user-friendly www-accessible database that allows detailed queries and searches to be made.

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Jewels in the crown: TIARA's key research areas and R&D issues
 by Paolo Pierini (INFN)

KARA (Key Accelerator Research Area) relevance for future projects and facilities (click image to enlarge). Image credit: TIARA.

A recently published report identifies and describes key, critical items requiring strongly focused R&D activities in the TIARA implementation.

The purpose of the TIARA Preparatory Phase is to set the grounds for a European distributed accelerator R&D infrastructure. It supports a strongly coordinated R&D programme focused on keeping Europe at the forefront of development and deployment of large accelerator-based infrastructures for basic and applied physics. This coordination allows higher efficiency and savings in both resources and time for European accelerator R&D. In this context, the primary objective of Work Package 4 “Joint R&D Programming” (WP4) is to propose a coherent and comprehensive R&D programme that will be carried out by the accelerator community in the future distributed infrastructure.

The starting point of WP4 was an analysis of the R&D needs for the accelerator facilities that are currently under construction (e.g. European XFEL, FAIR, ESS, …) and those that are being planned as major upgrades of existing facilities (LHC upgrades: LIU, HL-LHC) or foreseen in the future (IFMIF, CLIC/ILC, Neutrino and flavour factories, EURISOL, 4th Generation light sources…). An additional effort was directed to identifying emerging ideas and technologies that may lead to a new class of accelerator facilities based on novel techniques, such as plasma acceleration schemes. The General Report on Key Accelerator Research Areas and Key R&D Issues, the first WP4 deliverable, is now available.


  New world record vertical emittance in the SLS Storage Ring
  by Yannis Papaphilippou (CERN); Andreas Streun (PSI); Marica Biagini (INFN)

 Cross section of the SLS beam (in green) is superimposed on an electron microscope picture of a human hair (click image to enlarge). Image credit: Andreas Streun (PSI).

At the end of 2011, the Swiss Light Source (SLS) team reduced the vertical emittance to 0.9±0.4 picometer-radian, a new world record, only five times larger than its limit.

This accomplishment was based on careful magnet re-alignment, application of different steering methods and extending the emittance monitor performance. The blade-shaped electron beam is only 4 micrometers thick (see picture), proving that emittance levels required by future linear collider projects (e.g. CLIC) could indeed be reached.

Emittance, the product of particle beam size and divergence, represents the extent to which beams can be concentrated and defines the performance of light sources, colliders and particle factories. In electron storage rings, emittance is determined by synchrotron radiation. Horizontal emittance is largely specified by beam energy and ring circumference. Vertical emittance however has ideally a very small natural limit although positioning errors of the ring magnetic elements can lead to much larger values.

The SLS Vertical Emittance Tuning (SVET) Work Package within TIARA preparatory phase is a collaboration between PSI, CERN and INFN on instruments and methods for establishing an R&D infrastructure on vertical emittance reduction at the SLS storage ring of PSI.

The TIARA-SVET collaborators are now working on the application of further emittance reduction methods and on a new emittance monitor with higher resolution.