45 MW RF Circulator to be used in New STFC Particle Accelerator

Link Microtek has been awarded a contract by the Science & Technology Facilities Council 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 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 up to 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 1.11m 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 250MeV electron beam energy, enabling it to produce stable, synchronised, ultra-short photon pulses of coherent light from a single-pass FEL (free electron laser).