Lately, researchers at the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have successfully assembled and tested the prototypes of key components for the High Intensity heavy-ion Accelerator Facility (HIAF).
These prototypes include the magnetic-alloy accelerating cavity, the superconducting magnet, the full-energy storage power supply and the extreme-high-vacuum thin-wall vacuum chamber. Meanwhile, fabrication of some other devices is nearly accomplished.
Proposed and constructed by IMP, HIAF is a multi-function accelerator for heavy-ion physics and applications. The project is located in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, with a construction period of seven years which started on December 23, 2018.
"HIAF is designed to offer advanced experimental conditions for nuclear physics, astrophysics and applications, such as the identification of nuclides and mass measurement of short-lived nuclei,” said Prof. YANG Jiancheng, the chief engineer of the HIAF project. “It aims to deliver the world’s highest-intensity pulsed heavy-ion beams. Innovations on the accelerating cavity, magnet, power supply and vacuum chamber are important for this purpose.”
Over the last decade, the researchers have been focusing on overcoming technical challenges. They have developed the oil-cooled magnetic-alloy cavity with low frequency, wide band and high accelerating gradient. The test of magnetic-alloy rings used for the cavity shows their excellent performance in low frequency range. IMP and the manufacturers have jointly built automatic production lines of magnetic-alloy rings with independent intellectual property rights.
Besides, the researchers are making continuous progress on the development of other subsystems, such as superconducting magnets and normal magnets.
"Those improvements ensure the HIAF project goes smoothly,” added YANG. It is expected that the first accelerator component will be installed in 2023, and the commissioning of HIAF will be started in 2025.
Figure 1: The oil-cooled magnetic-alloy cavity developed for HIAF. (Image by IMP)
Figure 2: The superconducting magnet developed for HIAF. (Image by IMP)
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