Accelerator Advisory Committee

Vladimir Shiltsev

Vladimir Shiltsev, director of the Accelerator Physics Center, wrote this week’s column.

Fermilab’s Accelerator Advisory Committee (AAC) meets about every nine months to assess our accelerator programs and provide advice to the laboratory. Just two weeks ago, November 7-9, the committee of a dozen internationally renowned accelerator experts chaired by Dr. Kathy Harkay of Argonne National Laboratory, performed a comprehensive review of the strategic direction and plans for the Fermilab accelerator complex, Project X R&D, accelerator technology development, advanced accelerator R&D and the Muon Accelerator Program (MAP).

As usual, the AAC meeting was a very useful venue for us to settle our own thoughts and plans and get quick feedback from our colleagues that we will be trying to make use of over the coming months. Two dozen well prepared talks were presented to the committee which was impressed with the breadth of the program and the quality of the work we’re doing here at the lab, and recognized the hard work and accomplishments of Fermilab’s Accelerator Sector.

The committee endorsed several major initiatives, including the Proton Improvement Plan, focusing Project X R&D activities on the construction of PXIE (the Project X Injector Experiment), and the establishment of a user program for accelerator R&D at ASTA (the Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator at NML). PXIE will be a prototype of the first portion of the Project X linear accelerator, including all the elements for generating and accelerating the beam up to about 30 MeV. We are building ASTA, a test accelerator in NML to demonstrate the required beam and technology performance for the International Linear Collider. It will also serve as a test-bed for basic accelerator R&D.

Major recommendations of the 2011 AAC meeting encouraged Fermilab to:

  • actively participate in and be prepared to respond to the outcome of the DOE Intensity Frontier Workshop, which will be critical in establishing the science case for Project-X-type beams;
  • consider the use of the PXIE for isotope production,
  • expand expertise in high-power target systems,
  • consider developing and installing a chopper in the front end of the Linac which will reduce beam losses in the Booster and can also potentially benefit Project-X;
  • give the highest priority to the 11 Tesla magnet R&D needed for the LHC luminosity upgrade;
  • recruit a program leader to coordinate advanced accelerator R&D efforts at and develop the user community for ASTA facility;
  • and continue to increase efforts on the MAP program as the chance of a Muon Collider as the next generation lepton collider will increase depending on the physics results from the LHC obtained in the coming years.