Leveraging technologies

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone

When the International Linear Collider’s international committee selected superconducting RF technology for the ILC in 2005, one of the motivations for the decision was the potential utility of SRF technology for other fields of science and for even broader applications.

That decision has already proved beneficial in planning the next generation of facilities in the United States. Here at Fermilab, we have leveraged the investment in ILC technology to develop the skills and facilities necessary to build Project X. While the accelerating gradients to be used in Project X are lower than the ILC gradients, similar challenges exist in building very high-quality cavities with low losses. In addition to developing cavities at the ILC frequency of 1.3 GHz, for Project X we are developing a suite of five other cavity types at sub-harmonics of 1.3 GHz that are matched to the changing velocity of the particles in a proton linac.

Another important aspect of our SRF activity has been the development of a US industry capable of delivering cavities and other technical components used in building cryomodules. This interaction with industry will be enhanced with the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, which will be a portal for members of industry into the impressive set of SRF facilities at Fermilab. These facilities range from cavity processing and testing to full cryomodule tests with beam.

Highlighting the utility of SRF technology, last week we hosted a visit by Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and his team to explore how we at Fermilab could help with the development of the Next Generation Light Source. Director Alivisatos gave an impressive talk on the proposed scientific capabilities of the NGLS to a standing-room only audience. It is a remarkable machine with a very broad scientific program. We are excited to help develop the NGLS, and will continue to seek out similar projects that will ensure that the investments made by the Department of Energy to establish an SRF core competency at Fermilab continue to pay dividends for programs across the entire Office of Science.