Daresbury Laboratory Accelerator Capability

Project STELLA will be drawing from three distinct technology research groups operating out of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory located at the Sci-Tech Daresbury Campus in Daresbury, England. For over 50 years, Daresbury Laboratory has pushed the boundaries of modern science and is internationally recognised for world leading scientific excellence in a diverse variety of fields, from nuclear physics to supercomputing.

Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC)

The principal strategic goal for ASTeC is to enable UK researchers to carry out world class science by designing and developing world class particle accelerator-based facilities. These facilities are spread across a broad range of disciplines covering particle and nuclear physics machines, synchrotron light sources, Free-Electron Lasers (FELs) and spallation neutron sources. The research base that is therefore underpinned by ASTeC is extremely diverse and includes areas such as searching for new fundamental particles, testing the Standard Model of particle physics, studying the structure and behaviour of proteins and cells, designing new catalysts for biofuels, optimising cancer therapies, and understanding the detailed properties of thin magnetic films used in data storage.

The skills, experience, and capabilities of ASTeC’s staff enable STFC to propose and ultimately deliver new accelerator facilities for the UK and also to confidently join major international projects, with the ability to influence the projects’ scientific goals and potential, thus ensuring maximum return for the UK.

Such inherent capabilities include Beam Dynamics, Diagnostics and Instrumentation, RF and Cryogenics, Magnets and Radiation Sources, Vacuum Systems and Lasers, whilst also including a wide spectrum of accelerator preparation facilities to enable qualification of sub-system components, in addition to fully integrated test accelerators. Such specialist capabilities which are of most direct relevance for STELLA are:

  • Accelerator Physics
    Capability to design, commission, characterise and operate a wide range of circular, linear, energy recovery electron accelerators with extensive expertise of linear and non-linear beam dynamics, with an ability to perform complex start-to-end simulations for complete accelerator and high acceptance beam line designs.
  • RF and Cryogenics
    Expertise to develop electro-magnetic system and component design solutions for normal-conducting and superconducting accelerating structures, high power solid state and tube amplifiers and precision amplitude and phase control and stabilisation systems.
  • Diagnostics and Instrumentation
    Development of innovative beam diagnostic systems for measurements of: Position, Intensity, Profile (x, y, z), Phase, Emittance, Synchronisation and provision of machine protection solutions for Beam Loss and Collimation.
  • Vacuum Solutions
    Capability to perform advanced modelling of gas flow in vacuum systems, developing technology solutions for electron-beam photocathodes, thin film deposition and application processes and material analysis capability including: XPS, SIMS, SEM and AFM.
  • Magnets and Radiation Sources
    Specialist expertise to design, assembly and testing of a wide variety of magnet systems including; DC, pulsed and permanent, Electromagnets, Superconducting devices, Undulators & wigglers and optimised geometries providing unique magnetic fields.

ASTeC also has access to engineering expertise within STFC Technology Department at Daresbury, who can provide specialist and complimentary capabilities in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering design and manufacture, Control systems, Survey and Alignment and accelerator system integration all of which are compliant with ISO9001:2015 accreditation.

Cockcroft Institute at Daresbury

When the Cockcroft Institute was first established it deliberately chose to be located on the Daresbury campus so that the Universities (Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester) and ASTeC staff could work closely together on a daily basis on common programmes and also have access to the R&D test facilities located on site. This model is extremely effective, and the physical presence of the CI has clearly enhanced the reputation of the Daresbury campus and the UK considerably in the field of accelerator science and technology.

Lancaster University

As a founding member of the Cockcroft Institute, Lancaster University is a world-leading group in the development of RF particle accelerators. They have capabilities in RF structure design, beam-dynamics in medical/industrial linacs, LLRF development, thermal modelling, X-ray target simulation, cavity prototyping and testing at low and high powers. Lancaster has particular experience in the RF design and beam-dynamics of linacs for MeV-scale medical/security linacs which are very different to the structures used in high energy physics. Lancaster’s EMIT (Engineering of Microwaves & THz) accelerator group is based at Daresbury laboratory and has developed RF systems for several relevant RF programmes:

  • Design, prototyping and high gradient testing of the PROBE hadron therapy linac RF cavities including all beam dynamics, thermal modelling and mechanical design.
  • RF Design, beam dynamics and testing of S and X-band security linacs at 1-3 MeV (with ASTeC)
  • RF design of a 6 MeV security linac for industrial linac manufacture
  • Design, build and test of high gradient deflecting cavities for CLIC

Accelerator Facilities at Daresbury

  • VELA
    The Versatile Electron Linear Accelerator is a compact and flexible 6 MeV electron beam test facility, which can provide flexible beam delivery parameters for scientific and industrial research programmes.
    The Compact Linear Accelerator for Research and Applications is a 250 MeV, electron beam test facility, to produce stable, synchronised, ultra-short photon pulses of coherent light from a single pass FEL using techniques directly applicable to the future generation of light source facilities.
  • Linac Test Facility
    A compact linear accelerator platform has been developed to investigate the potential for small, low-energy linear accelerators to be utilised in application areas such as security, non-destructive testing and wastewater treatment. ​
  • CrabLab
    Is a facility which provides capability for high-precision electromagnetic characterisation of accelerator structures, utilising perturbation and stretched-wire measurement techniques.
  • VISTA Lab
    VISTA is the Research and development lab for vacuum technologies and coatings. We produce thin films of materials and test their properties. We are looking to improve vacuum conditions in challenging chambers, electron emission from materials for photocathodes, and superconducting materials to accelerate particles.
  • ETC
    The Engineering Technology Centre (ETC) at Daresbury offers expertise in project management and multi-disciplinary engineering solutions from conceptual design and simulation, through prototyping and manufacture to build, testing, installation and commissioning. The ETC delivers an integrated approach to today’s scientific and technological challenges by combining mechanical design and analysis, cryogenics, CNC machining, advanced metrology, electrical systems integration and intelligent control systems.