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Engineered Drop-in Systems for Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Experiments

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021677
Agency Tracking Number: 0000259030
Amount: $199,808.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 32d
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-06-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-03-27
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
 Marcos Ruelas
 (310) 822-5845
Business Contact
 Alex Murokh
Phone: (310) 822-5845
Research Institution

Plasma wakefield accelerators show significant promise to shrink the size of particle accelerators and their development is well underway at DOE-funded user facilities. These ground-breaking experiments, however, are hampered by existing vacuum chamber technology. Specific issues include the large chamber weight and difficulty in quickly exchanging the chamber or its contents due to the limitations of current chamber technology. The introduction of a lightweight torsion-box chamber walls will drastically decrease the weight of the chambers while the inclusion of spring-energized all-metal O-rings will increase the vacuum performance and radiation hardness of the large lids used to seal the chambers. Furthermore, will we introduce options for motorized alignment of multiple items from outside the vacuum envelope, include kinematic replaceable features, differential pumping, chamber blackening, and other features uniquely required by plasma wakefield experiments. We will prototype the key innovations, including the metal O-ring reusable seals, externally-motorized alignment, and torsion-box construction. After prototyping, we will produce a small scale chamber suitable for use in a UCLA-led experiment at FACET-II. The chamber will be qualified to SLAC’s standards for vacuum cleanliness while also meeting the experimental goals of the experiment and demonstrating the value of our new features. This program will yield a cost-effective method for producing large vacuum chambers suited for accelerator experimentalists and X-ray users. This will maximize investments already made by the DOE in user facilities by increasing the “beam on time.” Additionally, the vacuum chamber technology developed here, such as low-cost and lightweight torsion box walls and the inclusion of metal O-rings for lower pressure and higher radiation resistance, will be extremely beneficial to larger markets in surface coating, semiconductor production, and other industrial processes requiring large, ultra-clean vacuum vessels.

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

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