Furthering our understanding of low energy beam transport

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This autumn was very productive for our QUASARs Volodymyr Rodin and James Hunt who joined their co-workers Andreas Kainz from TU Wien, as well as Wilfried Hortshitz and Matthias Kahr from Danube University Krems to turn the idea of applying a novel MEMS sensor1 for accurate field measurements into reality.
Thus far, nobody has ever done detailed 3D-field measurements of electrostatic optics. This may seem surprising as these are widely used in low energy storage rings and beam transfer lines. In stark contrast, magnetic quadrupoles and dipoles are almost always tested in detail with appropriate Hall sensors, providing detailed insight into the real field distribution. An equivalent sensor for electrostatic optics would be a true game-changing technology.

In a nutshell, the device uses a very clever approach, converting field strength into a light signal. More details about the device and results from these measurements will be published soon. The original application of the sensor was oriented towards safety inspections in industry for high-voltage applications, electrical breakdown studies, as well as lightning-hit areas. However, this study may now open an entirely new range of applications.

The study was supported by CERN colleagues who provided access to one of the ELENA beam transfer line quadrupoles, in particular by W. Bartmann and J. Borburgh. Even though the design work of all ELENA beam lines in the AD hall has already been completed, there is still an interest in an improved description of the optics as this can help optimize overall beam transport.

Without preempting the results from a detailed analysis which will be published soon, the campaign gave a wonderful insight into the field distribution and demonstrated the unique capability of the sensor. It also helped improve existing simulation models used for 3D field map generation and will now be the basis for detailed 6D beam dynamics studies.