U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Control Room Accelerator Physics


University of New Mexico

Course Name:

Control Room Accelerator Physics


Alexander Zhukov, Andrei Shishlo and Brandon Cathey, Oak Ridge National Lab

Purpose and Audience
This course provides students with basic skills and hands-on experience developing high-level accelerator control applications. The course should be of particular interest to students, engineers, scientists, and technicians/operators interested in the commissioning and control of accelerators in research laboratories.

The USPAS undergraduate course "Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab" class or equivalent to provide adequate familiarity for accelerators; computer programming experience in an object-oriented language. Java and Python are used extensively and students are encouraged to be prepared at levels consistent with (links to tutorials to be provided). Basic familiarity with Linux terminal (command line) is required.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she meets the course prerequisites or has equivalent experience.

This course combines interleaved instruction in high-level accelerator control software with basic principles of beam optics, acceleration and beam dynamics. The materials in the lectures will be reinforced by extensive computer exercises that simulate solving problems in the control of real accelerators. Exercises will be based on a “Virtual Accelerator” implemented in software using basic models to synthesize diagnostic signals of the machine. Examples will be drawn based on procedures developed for operation of the SNS accelerator system at ORNL.

Instructional Method
The course consists of lectures in the morning (3 hrs. per class day), and an afternoon computer laboratory (3 hours daily). Homework will be assigned and graded daily. Instructors will be available during evening homework sessions.

Course Content
The course begins with an overview of accelerator control system architecture, high-level control theory to motivate the presentation of an operational approach to developing accelerator control software. The students will then be presented with a review of relevant physics including linear beam optics, basic principles of acceleration, rf-structures, beam dynamics, control theory and beam diagnostic devices. Every student will have a “virtual accelerator”, a software tool, deployed on their computer that will mimic a realistic accelerator system. The Open XAL high level application framework will be used to provide examples of different commissioning and beam-setup techniques. In parallel during the laboratory sessions students will establish basic connections with the Virtual Accelerator, contribute to a team software-development project, establish a machine and beam characteristics database, design an orbit correction algorithm, and determine magnet settings to match a beam from initial injection conditions to its equilibrium state, perform various beam scans and analyze the effect of measurement errors. Course materials will be similar to those used in 2014 http://uspas.fnal.gov/materials/14Knoxville/Knox-Control-Room.shtml

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) M.G. Minty and F. Zimmerman, “Measurement and Control of Charged Particle Beams” (Springer, 2003). Other suggested references are D.A. Edwards, M.J. Syphers, “An Introduction to the Physics of High Energy Accelerators”, (Wiley, 1993) and K. Sierra and B. Bates, “Head First Java”, Second Edition (O'Reilly, 2005), Paul Barry, "Head First Python", 2nd edition (O'Reilly, 2016).

Computer Requirements
The required software will be distributed as a VirtualBox image. Each student should bring their own laptop computer with the VirtualBox 5.2+ installed and ready for use. This software is free for student use and can be downloaded at https://www.virtualbox.org/.  Students are encouraged to use an integrated development environment (IDE) of their choosing for managing source code. Support will be provided for those using Eclipse, NetBeans and building from the command line. If you are not able to bring your own computer please contact the USPAS to inquire about a loaner.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on written homework assignments (30% of final grade), laboratory programming assignment (30% of final grade) and the final project (40% of final grade).

University of New Mexico course number: ECE 595-013, 014, 015
Indiana University course number: Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
Michigan State University course number: PHY 963, "U.S. Particle Accelerator School"
MIT course number: 8.790, "Accelerator Physics"