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Accelerator Expertise and Test Facilities

tandem equipment

Collider-Accelerator Department

The mission of the Collider-Accelerator Department is to develop, improve and operate the suite of particle / heavy ion accelerators used to carry out a program of accelerator-based experiments; to support the experimental program including design, construction and operation of beam transports to the experiments; support experiment detector and research needs, and design and construct new accelerator facilities in support of BNL and national missions. 

Accelerator Test Facility

With the demand for higher energy particle accelerators, facilities such as the Accelerator Test Facility (ATF) at Brookhaven are becoming increasingly important. The ATF provides experimenters with the equipment necessary for the advancement of accelerator technologies, with a view to develop smaller machines and more cost-effective methods of particle acceleration.

The facility provides a very-high brightness electron beam to four beam lines. The beam can be manipulated in the transport line to deliver it to one of the experimental locations in the experimental hall. There are more than 40 quadrupoles along 4 transport lines to tailor the beam to particular experiments.

The carbon dioxide laser installed at the ATF is the only tera-watt picosecond laser available in the world for users. When the laser interacts with matter or particle beams, new strong-field physics phenomena are revealed and have been successfully exploited for electron and ion acceleration and x-ray generation. Such experiments have many applications in physics and other areas such as medicine and materials science.

Details | Contact: (631) 344-4381

RF Test Facility

The Superconducting RF Vertical Test Facility can be used for preparation and testing various superconducting RF structures. It consists of a clean room for cavity preparation, a 800°C vacuum oven, and two vertical test block houses. It shares a cryogenic plant with the R&D ERL facility. The cryoplant’s capacity is 300 W at 4.5 K. It is equipped with a 1,000 gallon liquid helium storage dewar and a large Kinney vacuum pump to cool down experiments to 2 K. The facility is equipped to test cavities in a frequency range from 56 MHz to 1300 MHz.

The facility is available to industrial, government and university users on a full cost-recovery basis.

Availability: Approximately 100 days/yr
Advance notice required: Depending on the cavity under test, it may require up to one month or longer to schedule a request as i) a safety review of the test is required for new test set ups, and ii) the test might have to wait for an open window between BNL-specific experiments.

Details | Contact: (631) 344-8448


Tandem Van de Graaff

The Tandem Van de Graaff Facility consists of two 15-megavolt electrostatic accelerators capable of delivering continuous, or high-intensity pulsed ion beams in a wide range of ion species at various energies to experimental chambers that are available to researchers on a full cost-recovery basis. 

It is the highest energy Tandem facility in the U.S. It has a chamber with dosimetry and computer positioning for testing SEE and SEU effects. It also has an external beam chamber for radiobiological studies. Rapid energy and ion changes, well-controlled intensities, high quality beams and extraordinary reliability make this a very versatile and user-friendly facility. Beam energies from 1 MeV to 360 MeV depending on the ion species.

The Tandem can support studies and testing of spacecraft electronics, solar cells, optical sensors, instrument calibration, radiobiology studies, material science studies, radiation damage studies and micropore filter fabrication.

Availability: Approximately 230 days/yr

Request time via the Tandem website.

Details | Contact: 631-344-5261

Instrumentation Division

The Instrumentation Division develops state-of-the-art instrumentation required for experimental research programs at Brookhaven and maintains the expertise and facilities in specialized high technology areas essential for this work. Development of facilities is motivated by present Brookhaven research programs and anticipated future directions of BNL research. The Division’s research efforts also have a significant impact on programs throughout the world that rely on state-of-the-art radiation detectors and readout electronics.

Details | Contact: (631) 344-4231

Superconducting Magnet Division

The Superconducting Magnet Division built the more than 2,000 superconducting magnets that constitute the RHIC accelerator.  The Division has built smaller numbers of magnets for the Large Hadron Collider (CERN) and for electron-positron colliders in China and Japan.  The Division has also built magnets for other applications, such as energy storage (Superconducting Magnet Energy System) and leading magnet resonance image (MRI) studies. The Division has also tested magnets built by other institutions.

Details | Contact: (631) 344-7687

Magnetic Cryogenic Test Facility

This facility is used to test magnets at 4.2 deg K (liquid helium) and can be used to establish maximum operating current, measure magnetic field, quench propagation, magnet protection, and stress and strain. The test dewar is 610 cm deep and has a diameter of 71 cm. Currents as high as 22 kA are available. By approximately 2017, the facility will also offer 1.9 deg K superfluid for testing magnets with diameter up to 63 cm and length up to 478 cm.

To gain access, contact the Head of the Superconducting Magnet Division at the number above. Fees are determined by the labor needed to interface the magnet to the test facility and the materials needed for the test, especially electric power and helium.

Availability: 50 days/yr (FY15-16), 30 days/yr (FY17-19)
Advance notice required: 3 months minimum

Direct Coil Winding Facility

The facility maintains semi-automatic winding machines used to wind coils on cylindrical support tubes and can be used to make unique coils. Coils can be wound with NbTi 0.33 mm strand or 1.0 mm 6-around-1 cable. Coils range in diameter from 25 mm to 250 mm, and in length from 25 mm to 3.5 m. Coil designs can be cosθ or solenoid. Multiple layers can be wound. The facility includes machines for overwrapping coils for support against Lorentz forces.  Intermediate term: facility will be able to wind heavier conductor.

To gain access, contact the Head of the Superconducting Magnet Division at the number above. The fee is determined by the cost of production.

Availability: There are two machines. During the next five years, one of the machines is likely to be available full time.
Advance notice required: 4 months minimum

Magnet test stand
Direct coil winding device