Cryomodules of five different types, one of which is the SSR1 pictured here, boost the energy of the beam. cryomodule, beam, PIP-II, superconducting technology, accelerator Photo: Tom Nicol, Fermilab

A Fermilab team has completed tests for a crucial superconducting segment for the PIP-II particle accelerator, the future heart of the Fermilab accelerator chain. The segment, called a cryomodule, will be one of many, but this is the first to be fully designed, assembled and tested at Fermilab. It represents a journey of technical challenges and opportunities for innovation in superconducting accelerator technology.

The U.S. Department of Energy has formally approved the scope, schedule and cost of the PIP-II project at Fermilab. The PIP-II accelerator will become the heart of Fermilab’s upgraded accelerator complex, delivering more powerful proton beams to the lab’s experiments and enabling deeper probes of the fundamental constituents of the universe.

On Oct. 21, the PIP-II Injector Test Facility accelerated proton beam through its superconducting section for the first time. At this test bed for the upcoming PIP-II superconducting accelerator, collaborators will test novel particle accelerator physics concepts and technologies to be deployed in the high-tech front section of PIP-II, the future heart of the laboratory accelerator complex. The milestone achievement also marks the start of a new era at Fermilab of proton beam delivery using superconducting accelerators.

From Physics World, Sept. 23, 2020: The Proton Improvement Plan-II linear accelerator is an essential upgrade to the accelerator complex at Fermilab. The project is being led by PIP-II Project Director Lia Merminga, who talks to Physics World about this international effort to keep Fermilab at the forefront of particle physics.

Fermilab is currently upgrading its accelerator complex to produce the world’s most powerful beam of high-energy neutrinos. To generate these particles, the accelerators will send an intense beam of protons traveling near the speed of light through a maze of particle accelerator components before passing through metallic “windows” and colliding with a stationary target. Researchers are testing the endurance of windows made of a titanium alloy, exposing samples to high-intensity proton beams to see how well the material will perform.