Fermilab scientist awarded funding for international collaboration on accelerator automation

Jean-Paul Carneiro

Fermilab scientist Jean-Paul Carneiro has been awarded a two-year grant for work in particle accelerator technology through the University of Chicago FACCTS program — France And Chicago Collaborating in The Sciences.

The award will support the creation of a framework that will help realize one of the world’s first autonomous particle accelerators.

Carneiro and Dider Uriot, a scientist at the French institute CEA-Saclay, will incorporate into a Fermilab accelerator the world’s leading code for computing the dynamics of particle beams.

Uriot developed the code, called TRACEWIN. Now Carneiro and his team will adopt it for a prototype accelerator at Fermilab called the PIP-II Injector Test accelerator, or PIP2IT.

The integration of the code into PIP2IT’s controls systems means that, eventually, the accelerator will be able to automatically optimize the particle beam accelerating through it, with minimal participation from scientists and engineers.

Typically, a team of specialists fine-tunes a particle beam as it races through an accelerator, turning various knobs until the beam has all the desired characteristics for a particular experiment. TRACEWIN will be able to do some of the work of the specialists, setting the stage for automatic beam tuning.

The PIP2IT prototype is a test bed for the first stage of an upcoming accelerator at Fermilab, the PIP-II linear accelerator. This 700-foot machine will be the heart of the Fermilab accelerator complex for many decades. Expected to come online in the mid-2020s, it will power the Fermilab particle accelerator complex to provide a beam of neutrinos for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab, and an extensive suite of on-site particle physics experiments. Fermilab broke ground on the construction of the PIP-II accelerator on March 15.

Fermilab and CEA-Saclay are currently forming a collaboration on the design and construction of major parts of the PIP-II accelerator. The FACCTS funding extends this collaboration to include TRACEWIN and the beam dynamics of PIP2IT.

The benefits are mutual: CEA-Saclay provides its in-depth knowledge of TRACEWIN and works with Fermilab personnel to guide its integration with the PIP2IT accelerator controls. Fermilab provides the infrastructure and overall expertise for testing the added capabilities.

The France Chicago Center at the University of Chicago administers the FACCTS program, which seeks to help foster a broad range of networks and productive partnerships between Chicago-based researchers and France-based colleagues and institutions.