What are Accelerator Beam Diagnostics Used For?

What are Accelerator Beam Diagnostics Used For?

Beam diagnostics are a critical component of any particle accelerator and work by measuring and monitoring the attributes of a particle beam. Diagnostic systems may employ mechanisms which operate at high speed and with high accuracy and excellent reproducibility. The diagnostics may include motion control systems complete with feedback which allow the sensors and measuring devices to be accurately moved and positioned around or within the beam itself.

What is a Beam?

In accelerator physics, a beam is a term that refers to the course of the beam of accelerated charged particles. The term includes the all required components of an accelerator facility  path segment, including for example vacuum beam pipe, beam focusing and diagnostic devices.

The beam can be part of an initial linear accelerator, booster synchrotron, synchrotron storage ring, linear transfer beams that joins elements together or a linear beam such as a free electron laser facility. The beam term usually refers to the path that a beam of particles travels along in an accelerator. The path that leads away from the particle accelerator with either particles or more often light such as x-rays, travelling to the experimental end point often called the beamline.

In particle accelerators, beams are typically inside a tunnel or below ground, encased in concrete to shield the radioactivity generated. The beam or beampipe is typically a cylindrical metal tube, evacuated to ultra high vacuum to minimize interactions and losses with residual gas molecules inside the path.

Why are Beam Diagnostics Important?

All beams need beam diagnostics. Beam diagnostics keep track of the beam parameters and enable beam properties to be modified and corrected for optimal performance and for certain specific applications.

Therefore beam diagnostics and the equipment associated are absolutely critical to the optimal function of particle accelerators. Beam diagnostics hardware can make up as much as 3-10% of the overall cost of a particle accelerator facility. Specialized beam diagnostic equipment is employed to measure the properties of the charged particle beam and may be mounted near to, or directly attached to the beam.

Beam diagnostics play an essential role in keeping the beam path and profile optimized and is especially important during initial facility set up and commissioning. Diagnostics are also critical to optimize the performance of the beam and beamlines to enable the highest quality science.

Beam Diagnostics at UHV

UHV Design has established itself at the forefront of suppliers for particle acceleration. We have worked closely with our customers to help with problems in beam diagnostics and to design highly reliable systems for long unattended life, essential due the high levels of radiation often present and the very high cost of any downtime.  For example we have worked with CERN to remove bellows and develop fail safe mechanisms from essential beam diagnostics to significantly lower the risk of vacuum leaks.

Our solutions are highly customizable, as well as having one of the largest ranges on offer globally. We are able to design to comply with local standards to offer premium beam diagnostics solutions.

If you would like to learn more about beam diagnostics and how UHV can help with all your particle acceleration needs, contact us today for more information.