Update on SRF and NML

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

The development of the superconducting 1.3-GHz radio-frequency test facility at NML, which would comprise three cryomodules and an electron beam to test them, suffered a setback earlier this year with the zeroing out of funds for the International Linear Collider. The U.S. ILC R&D program will end in June 2013 when the worldwide Global Design Effort completes their technical design report and thus its mission. As I explain in more detail below, while NML will continue to operate as a cryomodule test facility despite the zeroing out of ILC funds, it can also support a broader program in advanced accelerator R&D. The laboratory is committed to pursuing all avenues that will allow us to complete this program.

While the ILC was the principal motivation to create a test facility at NML it was quickly recognized that the facility could provide enduring value for a much broader scope of accelerator R&D that would benefit our laboratory, other national and international laboratories and broader society. NML will continue to operate as a test facility for Project X pulsed linac cryomodules and will increase our ability to be of service across the national laboratory system by developing superconducting linacs such as the one required by the proposed Next Generation Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

NML can also support a very strong program of advanced accelerator R&D for scientific research purposes and industrial and medical applications. Fermilab is actively pursuing avenues of support for this broader program. The test facility at NML will be an important element of Fermilab’s ability to contribute to the use of accelerator technology in industrial applications once we open the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, which will be a portal into Fermilab facilities for our collaborators.

The superconducting radio-frequency technology and advanced accelerator R&D programs at Fermilab are, of course, much broader than the activities at NML. The development of SRF components for Project X in collaboration with Indian institutions remains a high priority. We want to be fully ready for Project X later in the decade, with all components prototyped before the start of construction. Furthermore, if a global facility such as the International Linear Collider develops to study the Higgs boson, we want to be ready to make important contributions. The efforts of Fermilab in the last few years have brought us to a leading position in the world of SRF. We are committed to continue the development of the technology both for particle physics research and in support of the broader DOE mission.