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Robust Wire Scanner for High Intensity Beam Profile Diagnostics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0015139
Agency Tracking Number: 0000221138
Amount: $149,708.44
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 23h
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001366
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-03-21
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-11-21
Small Business Information
1717 Stewart Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404-4021
United States
DUNS: 140789137
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Mark Harrison
 (310) 822-5845
Business Contact
 Alex Murokh
Title: Dr.
Phone: (310) 822-5845
Research Institution

Current and future particle accelerator labs require beam instrumentation for measuring the transverse profile and emittance of their beams in order to optimize their operation. The standard workhorse instrument is the wire scanner, which has a thin wire moved across the beam while measuring the signal from beam interaction. However, the wire material in many current models of wire scanner breaks or melts in the more intense beams of facilities like FRIB and CEBAF. The Department of Energy is seeking a new system for these facilities that is robust enough to withstand the intense particle beams while also maintaining high resolution imaging. RadiaBeam Technologies is proposing to design a wire scanner utilizing a novel material for the wire: boron-nitride nanotubes (BNNT). This material should have the similar interactions with particle beams as more commonly used carbon nanotubes and filaments. However, it has a much higher melting temperature (allowing it to withstand high-intensity beams), and it is electrically non-conductive (avoiding beam-induced RF heating seen in past wire scanners). In Phase I, RadiaBeam will design a complete wire scanner system—wire actuation, vacuum enclosure, detection, and associated controls—and test the new BNNT material for its suitability as a wire scanner. Commercial suppliers of BNNT will supply the wires and RadiaBeam will test the strength, thermal durability, electrical properties, and proper handling. These wires will then be mounted onto a simplified wire scanner—designed and built by RadiaBeam—and installed in the CEBAF accelerator for testing of BNNT’s ability to hold up against a real high-power beam. Particle accelerator laboratories, both current and under construction, require powerful, tightly focused beams for their research into new areas of nuclear, medical, and other scientific study. RadiaBeam Technologies is developing a new instrument using novel materials that can directly probe these intense beams to allow researchers to optimize their properties.

Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Completion of Phase II of this project will result in a new instrument that particle accelerator researchers can use to measure the quality of their beams while reducing downtime caused by damage to instruments from these high-power beams. This instrument will benefit research that requires intense, tightly focused beams like FEL and synchrotron light sources, collider experiments, and spallation neutron sources.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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