TIARA: Toward accelerator R&D coordination

The preparatory phase of the TIARA (Test Infrastructure and Accelerator Research Area) project has begun. In January, members from 11 research institutes in 8 European countries began a three-year collaboration intended to enhance, improve and structure R&D efforts in the area of accelerator science and technology in Europe.


Partly funded by the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the TIARA project is being coordinated by the CEA (Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives). “The aim of the project is to arrive at an organisational structure that will provide coordination for R&D efforts and associated infrastructures in the field of particle accelerators in Europe,” explains the CEA’s Céline Tanguy, project coordinator assistant. “The new structure, which we hope will be a durable one, will be set up at the end of the project’s preparatory phase.”

Particle accelerator research spans a variety of different fields, from the design of accelerators to their numerous applications. Ultimately, TIARA will make it possible to address the needs of all these different fields at the European scale—and one day, who knows, perhaps at a worldwide scale. “For now, we are concentrating on setting up TIARA at the European level. Extending it to the worldwide level might be conceivable, but it would be much more complex, and it would definitely take more time,” cautions C. Tanguy.

The TIARA preparatory phase is divided into nine work packages. Five of them are dedicated to administrative and organisational issues such as management, governance, management of R&D infrastructure, education and training, and collaboration with industry. The four others cover the technical side of the project, addressing the upgrade or creation of R&D infrastructure for the development of tuning methods and instrumentation for measuring very low emittances, ionisation cooling, high gradient acceleration and high-energy accelerator components. CERN’s Yannis Papaphilippou explains: “I coordinate Work Package 6, which has the objective of identifying elements of the Swiss Light Source at the Paul Scherrer Institute that will need to be upgraded to turn it into a test-bed for reaching ultra-low vertical emittances.” These emittances are needed in order to squeeze maximum performance out of future electron-positron colliders, but also for storage rings that make use of the synchrotron radiation emitted by electrons.

In practice, says Céline Tanguy, “TIARA will make it possible to ensure a better match between R&D needs and accelerator science and technology infrastructure. Coordinating infrastructure availability across the whole of Europe should ensure that the process is optimised and takes everyone’s interests into account.”

* CEA and CNRS in France; CIEMAT in Spain; DESY and GSI in Germany; INFN in Italy; PSI in Switzerland; STFC in the United Kingdom; Uppsala University in Sweden; IFJ-PAN in Poland; and CERN.

by Anaïs Schaeffer