Linear Particle Accelerators for X-ray Cargo Screening and Radiotherapy

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Engineering


The need to control borders has led to a rapid growth in the use of X-ray cargo imaging at ports, airports and rail depots. Many projects inspired by high energy physics (HEP) have led to rapid developments in detector technology. This, however, has not been accompanied by accelerator development, which has resulted in many of these detectors developments not being utilised. Furthermore, security applications require linacs with higher repetition rates, shorter bunches and longer macropulses, which currently don't exist commercially. The linacs used in security are also used for radiotherapy. Currently 50% of the worlds population do not have sufficient access tio radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer, mostly in low or middle income countries. Lancaster are currently developing new radiotherapy machines that will either be cheaper or easier to repair than existing machines to help improve access.
With new RF design methodologies and techniques employed in high gradient accelerators and existing RF sources, such a linac could be realised in parallel with electron gun development. We plan to design a next-generation linac suitable for the needs of Rapiscan to meet the requirements of their current imaging needs, as well as for radiotherapy in low income countries.
The Cockcroft has an existing linac test facility suitable for novel linac and detector development. I plan to also help commission and operate this facility, as well as performing characterization of the beam to aid future experiments.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/R002142/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
2500018 Studentship ST/R002142/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 Sam Smith