Funding award for Optical Fibre Analysis System

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Prototype optical fibre monitor, developed between the University of Liverpool and D-Beam.

A new STFC-funded project for developing an advanced machine protection system based on optical fibre technology was started this month by the QUASAR Group, based at the Cockcroft Institute. Research into an Optical Fibre Analysis System (OASYS) targets a novel diagnostic for beam loss, RF breakdown and quench detection within particle accelerators. The sensor shall provide superior temporal, angular and spatial information about the accelerated beam. The project will be realized in close collaboration with Industrial partner D-Beam Ltd., an alumni of the STFC CERN Business Incubation Centre, as well as Tritec Developments and the research facilities CLARA on Daresbury Lab campus and MAX IV in Sweden.

Based on results obtained from measurements during RF conditioning of the newly built CLARA facility, it is believed that with further developments this technology would not only complement existing diagnostics, but might also allow predicting potential breakdowns much earlier than current methods. Similarly, new approaches to rapid quench detection will be investigated. The high temporal resolution achievable with the sensor shall be used for an early detection of a quench event and integration of the device into the wider machine protection system.

The sensor and associated electronics R&D will benefit from the unique skills mix within the group and its international partners. Experimental studies are foreseen at both, CLARA and Max IV, and will be carried out over the next 12 months.