Fermilab’s accelerator program

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

Last week our Accelerator Advisory Committee conducted a three-day review of Fermilab’s accelerator program. The committee recognized the tremendous progress we have made since last year’s review and provided valuable feedback on our future projects. We are fortunate to have an outstanding committee that brings together the expertise of many laboratories and universities to provide input on our extensive program. Below is a brief survey of many of the projects currently under way.

The Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator is a proposed accelerator R&D facility that will be important for the development of future high-intensity and high-energy machines. ASTA’s superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) linac and small associated ring would put to immediate use the considerable investment made in ILC components and SRF development at Fermilab. In addition to testing advanced accelerator concepts and revolutionary ideas in nonlinear rings, ASTA will be part of the suite of facilities associated with the Illinois Accelerator Research Center and its industrial development program. We are in the process of preparing a proposal to DOE for the ASTA facility, and the advisory committee provided extremely important advice on how to further strengthen the proposal.

The committee also reviewed the work we are doing to increase the intensity and expand the scope of our existing accelerator complex. The combination of the Proton Improvement Plan and the accelerator upgrades related to NOvA will double the flow of protons through our accelerators, greatly increasing the productivity of the Fermilab complex. We are also developing the Muon Campus, which will include the delivery of muon beams to the Muon g-2 and Mu2e experiments.

We are formulating plans for Project X, including the Project X Injector Experiment, which will reduce the project’s principal technical risks by demonstrating the unique elements necessary to deliver continuous-wave beams with different time structures to different experiments. And for the very long term we lead the nation’s activities on the Muon Accelerator Program to study the feasibility of a muon collider and neutrino factories.

Underpinning the development of future machines, we have technology programs to advance very high-field magnets and all aspects of SRF for accelerators. Both of these technologies will be put to good use as we play a central role in the LHC accelerator upgrades at the end of this decade.

With such an extensive program, the advice of an external committee is essential and invaluable. The broad perspective it brings helps us make the Fermilab accelerator program responsive to the needs of the scientific community. We very much appreciated the many long hours the committee invested in analyzing our program last week and its valuable input!