SESAME boosts electrons to 800 MeV

27 October 2014

A key accelerator at the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) facility in Allan, Jordan, has reached its top energy recently. After having successfully stored electrons in the Booster-Synchrotron in July, the SESAME team succeeded in accelerating electrons to their final energy of 800 MeV on 3 September.

The SESAME injector consists of a 20-MeV microtron and the 800-MeV booster synchrotron. Electrons are produced in the microtron and accelerated to 20 MeV before being transferred to the booster synchrotron. The microtron became operational in 2012 and installation of the booster was completed in 2013. Storage in the booster synchrotron of the electrons from the microtron in July saw them circulating several millions of turns at their initial energy of 20 MeV. Now, the electrons have been accelerated to 800 MeV, which is the top energy of the booster.

This success will lead towards the final goal, which is to make SESAME the first operational synchrotron light source in the Middle East.

Bringing SESAME’s booster synchhrotron successfully to full operation is of particular significance because this is the first high-energy accelerator in the Middle East. The achievement is thanks to a team of young scientists and technicians from the region, for whom accelerator technology is a new field. They were led in this work by Erhard Huttel, the technical director of SESAME.

This success will lead towards the final goal, which is to make SESAME the first operational synchrotron light source in the Middle East, and to confirm its position as a truly international research centre. When the facility starts operations – probably in early 2016 – scientists from the Middle East and neighbouring countries, in collaboration with the international synchrotron light community, will have the possibility to perform world-class scientific studies. They will be able, for example, to determine the structure of a virus to improve medical remedies, gain insight into the interior and the three-dimensional microstructure of objects such as materials that are of interest to cultural heritage and archaeology, and investigate magnetization processes that are highly relevant for magnetic data storage.

SESAME has had links with CERN from the start. Following a suggestion by Gus Voss (DESY) and Herman Winick (SLAC), Sergio Fubini (CERN and University of Turin, who chaired a Middle East Scientific Co-operation group) and Herwig Schopper (director-general of CERN in the years 1981–1987) persuaded the German government to donate the components of the then soon-to-be-dismantled Berlin synchrotron BESSY I for use at SESAME (CERN Courier September 2014 p46). At a meeting at UNESCO in 1999, an interim council was established with Schopper as president. SESAME is modelled closely on CERN, and shares CERN’s original aims and its governance structure. The current president of SESAME Council is Chris Llewellyn Smith, former director-general of CERN (1994–1998).

In July, a sextupole corrector magnet for the SESAME storage ring arrived at CERN for tests and magnetic measurements. It is the first unit out of 32 to be delivered by the CNE Technology Center, a Cypriot-based company under the EU-CERN CESSAMag project.

In November last year, a pre-series sextupole for SESAME was prepared at CERN, to check the design and to tune the manufacturing procedures before placing the order for the series production to industry. The contracts were then awarded to a Cypriot and a Pakistani company. The CERN team has been working closely with both companies to transfer the knowledge from CERN that is needed to build these magnets.

The first unit out of the 32 magnets from Cyprus has already arrived at CERN, where measurements carried out together with SESAME colleagues reveal a precise assembly, resulting in magnetic-field homogeneity of 0.2‰ within two thirds of the aperture. The unit is also mechanically, electrically and hydraulically sound, assuring good reliability during operation. This makes the magnet appropriate for the lattice of a synchrotron light source such as SESAME, and it is a major step in preparing the SESAME storage ring.

The Cypriot company has, in parallel, assembled more than 50% of the components needed for the rest of the contract. The first magnet from Pakistan is currently being assembled.

• CESSAMag is the FP7 project “CERN-EC Support for SESAME Magnets”, which aims at supporting the construction of the SESAME light source.

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