An novel optical fibre analysis system for particle accelerators


The QUASAR Group, in collaboration with the beam instrumentation company D-Beam, has developed a novel beam monitor based on optical fibres. This PhD project will be based on this successful collaboration and target the development of a more comprehensive diagnostic system. This new system will have added capabilities in terms of both, locating RF breakdown events, and detecting precursor events to superconducting (SC) quenches.

The system works by running optical fibres along a beam line with a photodiode detection system attached to the end. When a shower of charged particles, generated via a beam loss or RF breakdown, passes through the fibre Cherenkov radiation is produced, which propagates down the fibre and it detected by the photodiode. Through either calibration based on known loss locations, or time of flight differences between two detectors, the source location can be measured to ~10 cm resolution.

As part of this project you will:

·        Develop enhancements of this new technology and fully characterize the monitor through simulation and experiments;

·        Test RF and SC applications of the oBLM at the CLARA facility on the campus of Daresbury Lab and/or at MAX IV in Sweden; you will also be given opportunities to contribute to prototyping the monitor with D-Beam.

·        Investigate other novel applications of oBLM technology (e.g. novel accelerator diagnostics). You will disseminate your results through conferences, journal articles, and your thesis.

·        Be trained in designing, manufacturing, installing, and operating an oBLM; you will also receive comprehensive training in data science, accelerator physics, electronics, CAD, and optics.

Subject to the usual funding approval, the studentship will cover the UK/EU fees; a tax-free maintenance allowance will be paid for 3.5 years.

To apply please visit: and click the 'Apply now' button. Please quote studentship reference PPPR001 in the funding section of the application form.

For any enquiries please contact Prof Carsten P Welsch on