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Instrumentation & Equipment

Beam Dynamics and Applications

Beam dynamics refers to the development, analysis and supervision of the physical aspects of the machine. Its main concerns are theoretical physics and accelerator control with the goal of pursuing the ultimate storage ring.

In seeking to optimise a wide range of parameters such as beam emittance, coupling, magnet calibration and lattice optics, the ESRF studies various characteristics of the X-ray source.

The ESRF also develops specific software required for the accelerator control system.

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The Diagnostics group is responsible for the detailed study, conception, design, development, procurement, installation, commissioning and maintenance of the instruments for measuring the ESRF electron beam and light beam parameters with the ultimate precision and resolution.

Such diagnostics include electron beam position monitors, current monitors, emittance diagnostics, electron beam imaging, energy spread diagnostics, bunch purity diagnostics, beamloss monitors and scrapers. The group is also responsible for detectors linked with beam interlock systems, and those used for bunch purity cleaning, as well as designing in-house, operating and maintaining a number of feedback, correction and damping systems.

Such instruments utilise a wide range of state-of-the-art technology such as sensors, detectors and pick-up electrodes, ultra-high vacuum, precision mechanics, optics, electronics for conditioning, treatment, acquisition and control of signals, and computer science.

The group is engaged in making these beam diagnostics fully available to the operation group, in a user-friendly way and with emphasis on reliability. 

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Front Ends

The front end is the interface between the source and the optics on the beamline. Its main function is to act as a shutter enabling or disabling beam to travel from the storage ring to the experimental hutch.

The major technical challenge for the front-end is the high power density of the X-ray beam (1.5 kW/mm2) coupled with its small divergence. It would only take 20 milliseconds for a misguided beam to burn a hole in the stainless steel vacuum chamber through which it travels.

The Front-End is a composed of a series of components, for example: photon shutter, radiation shutter, slits, valves, diamond windows etc. All the components are located inside the storage ring tunnel where they are exposed to high radiation levels during operation.

The ESRF Front End team manages the design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of the front ends.

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Insertion Devices

The ESRF is the world leader in the field of designing and developing in-air and in-vacuum insertion devices for synchrotron light sources.

Our flexibility and proximity to end users on the beamlines ensures tailor-made dedicated insertion devices for different energy ranges and photon flux density.

More than 15 revolving undulators service the ESRF beamlines. Constant advances in technology mean that the in-vacuum undulators can be operated with a minimum magnetic gap of 6mm which will continue to be reduced in the future.

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Scientific software developed at the ESRF for accelerator physicists


Power supplies

The accelerator complex runs on electricity and demands a constant and reliable supply. With annual energy consumption in the region of 5M€ or 65GWh, the provision of electricity to the ESRF is of prime importance.

The Power Supplies group is in charge of the operation, maintenance and development of:

  • the DC power supplies for the storage ring, transfer lines, the 10Hz resonant power supplies of  the booster and the 4Hz pulsed power system
  • the associated equipment for machine, magnet and energy supply interlocks
  • the electrical power quality of the incoming mains i.e. the alternative cleaning and back-up power supply (HQPS - High Quality Power Supply).

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Radio Frequency

High radio frequency (RF) electrical fields are used to accelerate the electrons in the linear accelerator (linac), booster and storage ring. These electrical fields are generated in RF cavities fed by high power RF transmitters. In the storage ring, the electrons are deflected from their trajectory by strong magnetic fields to produce the extremely bright photons know as synchrotron light. The energy lost by the electrons in the process of generating this synchrotron light is restored as they pass through the RF cavities. The ESRF RF cavities operate at a frequency of 3 GHz in the linac and 352.2 MHz in the booster and storage ring.

The ESRF operates a dynamic research and development programme in the area of radio frequency. New concepts have recently been developed for HOM-damped copper RF cavities and for high power RF solid state amplifiers (SSAs), culminating in the installation of four SSAs in the booster in 2012 and three in the storage ring in 2013-2014, powering three new in-house designed HOM-damped cavities. A prototype SSA has also been successfully tested and could eventually become the basis for a replacement of obsolete klystron transmitters. Two additional five-cell cavities were installed in the booster in 2015, providing redundancy and increasing the reliability for top-up operation.

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