Participants at the Second Yearly Meeting and Collaboration Week in Lisbon.
The Scientific Advisory Committee of EuPRAXIA presenting its conclusions in Lisbon
The EuPRAXIA consortium has held its second Yearly Meeting and Collaboration Week at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon from 20th to 24th November.
The Lisbon meeting was also the occasion for the first gathering of EuPRAXIA’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC, composed of eight international experts in laser and accelerator science, was in charge of assessing the status of the project and providing a set of recommendations.
Coordinator Ralph Assmann and a representation of the principal researchers of EuPRAXIA gave a summary of the status of the project and their respective work packages.
Current research within the consortium is aimed at improving the beam quality, and demonstrating the benefit in size and cost of a plasma accelerator versus established RF technology.
Beam quality is essential in order to show that plasma accelerator technology is usable. In EuPRAXIA, two approaches are being used to address the beam quality. The first is to improve the technical components and plasma accelerator schemes already producing GeV class beams; this includes improved laser technology and feedback loops. The second is to start with a high-quality beam from a small RF injector and boost it to high energy. The latter approach is fully stageable, offering a path to high energy while the starting beam quality is assured. However, it brings out new issues, like sub-femtosecond beam synchronization, for which new solutions are needed.
The project has identified nine different technical scenarios to achieve the target performance of the EuPRAXIA facility, defining the baseline parameters for the operation of lasers, RF injectors, and plasma structures. Several partners are assessing the viability of the different schemes through advanced start-to-end simulations and experiments at various European facilities.
The consortium has also made significant progress in developing the applications where a plasma-based accelerator would have a large impact, namely as a driver for a Free Electron Laser and as a test bed for high-energy physics detectors.
EuPRAXIA is now ready to take on a second iteration of its general layout and it will start evaluating the costing for the facility construction and operation. The proposed solutions must offer significant benefits with respect to RF-based accelerators, e.g. fitting constrained spaces and being cost effective, including low operational costs.
Although they are still major challenges ahead, the progress made in the first half of the project give us the confindence to look forward to the delivery of an excellent Conceptual Design Report for a highly compact and cost-effective plasma accelerator facility with industrial beam quality.
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