Grant award: 100k£ for new sensor development

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Photograph of oBLM prototype.

We were awarded 100k£ through the STFC IPS Scheme for the development of a novel optical fibre analysis system (OASYS). The research aims to produce commercially viable proof-of-concept results for two advanced machine protection applications of an existing optical fibre beam loss monitor (oBLM) device.

An oBLM consists of a series of optical fibres run down the length of an accelerator structure, such as a beamline. When beam losses occur within the structure, showers of charged particles are produced. When these particles cross the optical fibres they produce Cherenkov radiation.

This radiation propagates down the fibres and is detected by a Silicon PhotoMultiplier (SiPM) with specialised high-speed readout electronics. This signal provides time-of-flight information on the source loss point, allowing it to be located to within ~10 cm along the accelerator structure; a resolution unprecedented within existing loss monitoring technologies.

This device has already been implemented at several international accelerator facilities in collaboration with our spin-off company D-Beam Ltd. Project leader Professor Carsten Welsch said: “The OASYS project will allow us to extend the functionality and applicability of this emerging technology. This will pave the way for application at light sources and accelerators around the world and marks another important milestone in the development of this sensor.”