The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science Capital Equipment 2018

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics


We are submitting this proposal for capital funding to address following issues: to improve resources to conduct experiments, maintain available and build new research facilities as well as stimulate innovation and collaboration with industrial partners improving their capabilities and competitiveness. Items requested below have been selected after a rigorous internal selection process which was aimed at identifying the highest priority equipment needed at this current moment. Examples of areas of interests, which will be addressed and, which are in need of the support include but not limited to:
1/ Laser-plasma acceleration, which offers a route for the development of compact accelerators, which has many possible applications in areas such as fusion energy, nuclear materials and healthcare.
2/ Design approaches and beam control methods developed for 3rd and 4th generation light sources, which can enhance performance of these instruments, thus contributing to solutions in environment and healthcare challenges via novel materials or biological objects studied at these facilities.
3/ Novel particle accelerators, which can have direct applications in radiotherapy for cancer treatment, the transmutation of nuclear waste, generation of radioactive isotopes for medical imaging and lithography.
To address the issues we are applying for the following equipment items: Laser wavefront control system; Lab based synchrotron x-ray source; VNA for RF cavity test facility; X-ray imaging test stand; PXI DAQ. These equipment of total cost to STFC £249.161 should solve some immediate problems as well as allowing us to maintain the capacity for development and future growth.

Planned Impact

The road map to maximise the impact of the research conducted at JAI includes: knowledge exchange with industrial partners, commercialisation of projects, public engagement and outreach as well as active cross-disciplinary collaborations with researchers from other fields including engineering, biology, health and chemistry. Each team will pursue its own pathway to impact taking into account the road map developed at JAI and implementing it in way appropriate for each specific case. Realising potential applications and impact beyond academia is an important objective of the JAI. Each team generates a specific impact maximising the overall JAI contribution. Examples of the impact are:
1. Laser wavefront control system:
A long-term goal of the JAI's research programme on laser wakefield accelerators is the development of a new class of highly-controlled plasma accelerator able to operate at kilohertz repetition rates and driven by compact lasers with high wall-plug efficiency. If achieved this would promote a paradigm shift in accelerator science and would immediately make realistic several applications (all-optical accelerator and FEL) of plasma accelerators which, to date, are merely possibilities.
2. Lab based synchrotron x-ray source:
Laser driven accelerators promise to revolutionise the myriad uses of particle accelerators in science, technology and medicine, by producing particle beams in a fraction of the distance required by conventional accelerators. One of the prime uses demonstrated for laser based accelerators so far is in the generation of high quality X-ray beams, with properties otherwise only found in synchrotron facilities. In our work we have recently shown the suitability of these so-called betatron sources for x-ray imaging of small animal and medically relevant samples.
3. VNA for RF cavity test facility:
The 4-port VNA requested will drive the RF test facility, supporting and securing success of current and future projects including: "Innovative, Robust and Affordable Medical Linear Accelerators for Challenging Environments". The project creates direct and immediate impact in the most needed area of health care which was identified during the recent workshop (March 2018) hosted by STFC, CERN and ICEC in partnership with representatives from ODA countries. The project's premise is to use the best available technologies in accelerator science and adapt them to the specific problems faced by users in the challenging environments with a lack of financial resources and operational knowledge typically seen in some ODA countries. Improved facilities will enhance capability to fight cancers and reduce severe shortfall in radiation treatment capacity with annual global incidence of cancer expected to rise from 15 million cases in 2015 to, as many as 25 million cases in 2035.
4. X-ray imaging test stand:
The aim of the project is to develop a compact X-ray imaging system that can be used by medical and industrial companies for examining objects that cannot be brought to a more sophisticated laboratory. For example, if someone broke a bone, the system can be used to examine the wound and understand its complexity before transporting the patient to a hospital. Geologists will be able to examine samples in place, rather than taking all of them to the base.
The proposal aims to impact via enabling precise, rapid and reliable beam transverse profile and energy spread measurements for commercial proton and hadron therapy systems; improving the precision of targeting cancer; increasing the number of patients treated daily by each machine; minimising operator and proton therapy system commissioning costs. UK manufacturers e.g. ElementSix (supplier of pCVD diamond), UHV Design, (vacuum manipulators) will benefit economically from the future supply contracts if proposal is successful.


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