Link Microtek to supply high-power microwave circulator for STFC particle accelerator

January 12, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Link Microtek has been awarded a contract by the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to supply a high-power microwave circulator assembly for a new particle accelerator project that is currently under development.

The high-power S-band circulator, which is being designed and manufactured by US firm Ferrite Microwave Technologies, will be used in the RF front-end section of the next-generation light source test facility known as CLARA (compact linear accelerator for research and applications). More specifically, the circulator will be installed between the klystron and cavity of CLARA Linac 1 and will be able to handle a maximum of 45 MW (megawatts) of peak RF power for extended periods.

Scheduled for delivery in October 2017, the circulator will be made up of waveguide isolators and splitters, with the finished assembly measuring 1.11-m in length. Water cooling will be used to keep the circulator within normal operating temperature range to help to stabilise phase and amplitude characteristics, which is key to the operation of the CLARA front end.

The use of particle accelerators to generate electromagnetic radiation has proved to be an invaluable tool for scientific experiments, and the ultimate aim of the CLARA project is to develop a test accelerator capable of delivering 250 MeV electron beam energy, enabling it to produce stable, synchronised, ultra-short photon pulses of coherent light from a single-pass FEL (free electron laser).