Commercial Applications of Compact Superconducting Electron Linacs
Recent advances in superconducting electron linacs have decreased the size and complexity of these systems such that they can be economically competitive with copper linacs and proton accelerators for a broad range of applications. Niowave is developing compact turn-key superconducting electron linacs that make use of commercial 4 K cryoplants and microwave power sources. This SBIR will explore applications of compact superconducting electron linacs for energies from 0.5-50 MeV. The applications identified to date cover a broad range including: ultrafast electron microscopy, welding and thermal modification, high frequency microwave and terahertz sources, free electron lasers, x-ray sources, isotope production, and accelerator driven sub-critical reactors. Potential applications will be investigated to determine the required beam energy, current and brightness. In addition, potential users will be recruited to invest in the concept through Phase II and Phase III. For the most promising applications, the electron linac design will be developed to a level adequate to cost the facility, pursue an operating license, and proceed with construction. As the commercial applications of superconducting electron linacs bring down the costs and advance the technology, defense programs such as the free electron laser will become more reliable and cost effective.
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