Accelerators, Cryogenics and Magnetism Division (DACM)

DACM is division of the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (IRFU), of the CEA Physical Sciences Division (DSM). It is located on the Saclay center in the premises of the former National Laboratory Saturne, LNS, and the former Department of Instrumental Techniques of Elementary Particles, the STIPE. These premises have been renovated and gathered in a large platform called "Synergium" which occupies a total floor area of 25,000 m2. DACM which hosts 75 research engineers and 45 technicians has for mission to carry out, with the national and international community, research and development of excellence in the fields of particle accelerators, cryogenic systems and superconducting magnets for use in fundamental research. The Department has played a major role over many years in the construction of the high technology instruments needed for this type of research (LHC, W7-X, SPIRAL2, FAIR, IPHI, ESS).


The expertise of the Department has also been deployed in support of work in associated fields including energy (materials studies for thermonuclear fusion as part of the IFMIF project, qualification of the coils of the Japanese JT-60SA Tokamak), life sciences (the ISEULT ultra high field magnetic resonance imager for NEUROSPIN) and light sources (SOLEIL and XFEL).


DACM also provides management services for major large scale projects and develops the associated test systems. These projects are carried out within the project structure of the IRFU in close association with other departments of the Institute, both physical and technology, particularly the Department of System Engineering, SIS. Finally the technology transfer to industrial partners constitutes a core component of the work of the Department.


DACM brings together strengths in both the design and construction of large scale systems. The expertise of the division extends to the fields of accelerator theory, ion sources, conventional and superconducting accelerating cavities, superconducting magnets, and the associated cryogenic systems. It is based on a wide range of test systems, from small test stations used to characterize materials to very large scale systems capable of testing entire superconducting coils and cavities. The vitality of DACM is also due in a large part to the contribution of young PhD students and post-doctoral researchers within the R&D teams. This continual influx of new ideas enables the division to explore new technologies for use in designing and constructing the instruments needed to support advances in applied fundamental research.


The workforce of DACM is divided among five laboratories:

  • the Accelerator Design and Development Laboratory (LEDA),
  • the Accelerator and Hyperfrequency Systems Engineering Laboratory (LISAH),
  • the Cavity and Cryomodule Development and Integration Laboratory (LIDC2),
  • the Laboratory for Superconducting Magnet Research (LEAS),
  • the Cryogenics Laboratory and Test Stations (LCSE).


A Scientific and Technical Committee, the CSTS, composed of 14 members and 7 international experts from outside the CEA, meets once a year to evaluate ongoing activities and examine new proposals. The CSTS assists the Head of the DACM in defining research and development strategy within the Department.


In the last three years, DACM has scored a number of successes: the injectors of SPIRAL2 and IFMIF have been tested in an operational situation in their bunkers inside the Synergium and have achieved their nominal performance. The 51 tons of superconducting material necessary for the ISEULT project were produced and 170 double pancakes were wound with the required accuracy. The development of innovative antennas for medical imaging has continued with success. Sources of SILHI type will now be industrialized and beam dynamics softwares are marketed worldwide. In October 2012, the JT-60SA cold test station received its imposing  cryostat.


Over the next three years efforts will focus on commissioning the IPHI injector, on the industrial phase of XFEL cryomodules assembly, as well as on the construction and testing of two innovative cryomodules: the prototype cryomodule for the IFMIF-LIPAC accelerator, and the technology demonstrator for ESS. DACM will also contribute to the progress of the project CILEX in view of new acceleration techniques and deliver the proton injector FAIR project in Darmstadt. In the field of cryomagnetism the JT-60SA test station will be commissioned in 2014 and will open technological extensions for the ITER program. The spectrometer R3B-Glad will be cryostated and tested. The imaging magnet NEUROSPIN-ISEULT will be cryostated to get its ambitious performances in terms of magnetic field homogeneity and stability. The DACM will also participate strongly to the development of new high-field magnets needed to increase the luminosity and energy of the LHC.


By 2017 and within its complementary activities of accelerators and cryomagnetism, the DACM will be intensely involved in exciting projects equal to the major scientific missions of the CEA. Moreover the DACM will resolutely participate, together with the nearby communities, in the launching and the success of the campus of the Paris-Saclay University.


Antoine Daël, head of DACM






Last update : 03/16 2018 (732)

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352 MHz RF Platform : Context High power tests of RF accelerator components (power couplers, RFQ, warm cavities) can be performed for structures resonating at 352 MHz. The platform is equipped with two CW klystrons and one pulsed klystron. RF signal can be sent to three radiation shielded bunkers.
Coupler RF test station : The RF components can be tested under both traveling wave and standing wave conditions.One 704 MHz test bench capable of pulsed operation at 1.0 MW peak, using 2 ms pulses at a pulse repetition rate of 50 Hz (100 kW mean power).One 1300 MHz test bench capable of pulsed operation at 2 MW peak, using 1 ms pulses at a pulse repetition rate of 10 Hz (20 kW mean power).One 704 MHz test bench - 80 kW continuous; stable up to ... More »
352 MHz RF platform : 352 MHz RF platform is equipped with: ? Two Thales TH2089B klystrons that can each deliver 1.3 MW of continuous RF power. ? One Thales TH2179A pulsed klystron with an in-built DTI Sigmaphi modulator with a peak power of 3 MW, which can deliver 240 kW of average RF power, with a pulse length of between 10 and 3600 μs and a frequency repetition of between 1 and 50 Hz. In particular these characteristics cover the useful cycle of the ESS (European Spallation Source). These RF power ... More »
CELLO refrigerator for the JT-60SA test facility : The JT-60SA cold test facility was designed and constructed to validate the 18 superconducting magnets that will be installed on the JT-60SA tokamak at Naka in Japan. The “CELLO” HELIAL liquefier/refrigerator originally attached to the station used to test prototype magnets for the LHC has been moved. It now provides cooling for the JT-60SA test station and produces the liquid helium necessary for testing the magnets at nominal current. Its cooling power is around 500 W at 4.2 ... More »
Chemistry laboratory : The chemistry laboratory has: ? 6 ventilated fume chambers for the treatment of samples and cavities, including a vertical electropolishing system for the chemical or electrochemical treatment of the internal surface of niobium cavities using concentrated acids. ? Adjacent storage area for acids and solvents. ? Pure and ultra-pure water production plant. ? Liquid effluent treatment plant for treating diluted acids. ? Storage tank for concentrated acid waste (capacity 5 ... More »
Chemistry laboratory and clean-room (Orme des Merisiers) :     Chemistry laboratory Surface treatments for superconducting accelerator cavities. 1 fume hood for the treatment of cavities. 1 ultrasonic degreasing station (60 l). Ultra-pure water production plant with a capacity of 3 m3. 35 m2 ISO class 5 clean-room Assembly of cavities following high pressure ... More »
Cryholab – laboratory horizontal cryostat (property of IRFU-IN2P3 ) : Tests of superconducting cavities in the same conditions as in an accelerator. Radio frequency power supply: now 700 W; foreseen: 80 kW for continuous input; up to 1 MW for pulsed input. Pumping unit coupled with Helial 4012 refrigerator: 80 W at 1.8 K and 13 mbar. Useful internal size: 1.5 m length and 70 cm diameter.  
CRYOPULSE : Horizontal cryostat 6 m in length for characterizing flows and thermal performance by means of temperature and pressure measurements in cryogenic pulsating heat pipes up to 4 m in length. Power available for the loop: 200 W.
Diagnostics, vacuum and assembly laboratory (DIVA) : The laboratory is responsible for vacuum measurement, for research into the desorption of materials and the development of ultra-high vacuum techniques (assemblies and tests). Its equipment includes: ? An ultra-high vacuum oven that can reach temperatures up to 1200 °C at 10-6 Pa, with temperature uniformity at 900°C of ± 3°C. ? A desorption measurement bench for qualifying materials and developing cleaning procedures necessary for ultra-high vacuums. Vacuum ... More »
Double bain : A cryostat using the Claudet double bath principle, for carrying out thermal studies on static pressurized superfluid helium up to a power of 10 W at 1.8 K with a maximum pressure of 1.5 bar(a) in a test volume of dimensions of diameter 200 mm x height 200 mm  
Hélial 4003 liquefier - refrigerator used with the W-7X test station : The W7-X test facility was used to validate the 70 superconducting magnets installed on the European magnetic confinement fusion research machine, the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator.   This test facility has two cryostats with a usable diameter of 5 m and a usable height of 4.1 m. The “4003” HELIAL liquefier, which has a capacity of around 200 W at 4.2 K, provides the cooling power for the test facility. Between 2010 and 2015, this assembly was used mainly by the R3B-Glad ... More »
Hélial 4008 liquefier in the liquefaction station : In 2015, 131,000 liters of liquid helium were delivered to different laboratories on the CEA Saclay site and the surrounding area. The “4008” HELIAL liquefier, which has a capacity of around 70 l/hour, produces liquid helium in two tanks of 6,000 and 18,000 liters, giving flexibility for management of the liquefaction station. Thanks to a recovery, recompression, storage and purification system,around 50% of the helium gas distributed can be recycled (this recycling rate includes ... More »
Hélial 4012 Liquefier-Cooler connected to Cryholab : Liquefier production is around 170 or 70 litre/hour with or without nitrogen pre-cooling. A helium compressor 80g/s (1600 m3/h) and an Air Liquide cold box make up the liquefier. Its cooling power is around 80 Watt at 1.8 K
Horizontal cryostat for cavity tests : Context High power RF characterization tests of superconducting cavities equipped with their power coupler and tuning system, at low temperature down to 1.8 K, in conditions close to their final use in an accelerator. A cylindrical horizontal cryostat (CRYHOLAB) shielded against earth magnetic field allows one to fully characterize superconducting cavities feeded with high power RF (thermal budget, Lorentz force detuning, microphonics, etc). Its dimensions are l = 1.5 m long ... More »
Insulation laboratory : Context Project technical support for insulation and winding of superconducting magnets.   The insulation laboratory is equipped with several technical means allowing for example to : design small coils, impregnate prototypes or characterization specimens, prepare superconducting cables before characterization via the dissolution of aluminum or copper, process resins and chemicals, perform characterizations at room temperature.
Insulation/impregnation laboratory : The insulation/impregnation laboratory provides technical support for SACM’s projects on insulation for superconducting magnets and their winding: production of small coils, impregnation of prototypes or characterization samples, preparation of superconducting cables prior to characterization by dissolving aluminum or copper, use of resins and chemicals, room temperature characterizations (calorimeter, tensiometer, rheometer, pycnometer), etc.
Measurement of the Thermal Conductivity of Insulators and Conductors (MECTIC) : Context Thermal conductivity measurements on samples (Φ ≈ 30 mm) of insulating or conducting material by using the differential or integral method.
Mechanical test laboratory : The mechanical test laboratory can perform measurements at 300 K and cryogenic temperatures: 77 K (liquid nitrogen) and 4.2 K (liquid helium), for determining mechanical characteristics (modulus of elasticity, elastic limit, breaking load, rupture elongation, and fragility) of metals or composites (synthetic composites or highly anisotropic compounds such as superconductors), and the behavior of complete assemblies under flexion, traction, compression or slippage.   The laboratory ... More »
Mechanical test laboratory : Context  Mechanical tests at room temperature or cryogenic temperature: 77 K (liquid nitrogen) and 4.2 K (liquid helium). Determination of the mechanical characteristics (elasticity modulus, elastic limit, breaking load and stretch, fragility) of metal and composite materials, study of assembly behavior (bending, traction, compression and slippage).
Mechanical workshop : The mechanical workshop is more a prototype workshop than a production workshop. It is available for urging needs of experiments and in case of modification requirements. It makes available : 5 turning lathes, 5 millers, 1 reaming machine, 1 flat surface grinder, and other machines like drilling machines, sawing machines …
Optical Diagnostics Integration Laboratory (LIDO) : The optical diagnostics integration laboratory, or LIDO, is a clean, dark enclosed 20 m² space within DIVA. Access to it is restricted to authorized personnel. It has a 1 metric tonne hoist, a large optical table and many optical components (lenses, mirrors, light sources, photodiodes, a wattmeter, etc.), as well as mechanical components and imaging components (spectrometer, CCD cameras). It is designed for the assembly, adjustment, calibration and dimensioning of optical diagnostic ... More »
Residual resistivity ratio (RRR) measurements : RRR measurement samples: 100 mm x 3.5 mm. Cryostat: 0.15-m useful diameter, 0.9-m height. Consumption: 20 l / test.  
Test benches for power couplers : The RF components can be tested under both traveling wave and standing wave conditions.One 704 MHz test bench capable of pulsed operation at 1.0 MW peak, using 2 ms pulses at a pulse repetition rate of 50 Hz (100 kW mean power).One 1300 MHz test bench capable of pulsed operation at 2 MW peak, using 1 ms pulses at a pulse repetition rate of 10 Hz (20 kW mean power).One 704 MHz test bench - 80 kW continuous; stable up to ... More »
The JT-60SA platform :   As part of Europe’s contribution to production of the Japanese JT-60SA tokamak, IRFU/SACM is responsible for the design, production and operation of a cryogenic test station for testing each of the 18 toroidal magnets in the tokamak under its normal operating conditions. The main aim of these tests is to demonstrate that each magnet functions correctly at 25.7 kA and 5 K, but they are also being used to determine the temperature margin of the tokamak by measuring the quench ... More »
The SEHT test facility : The SEHT facility, which was created to generate an 8 T magnetic field in a large volume, uses a solenoid winding with an NbTi conductor assembled from double pancake coils cooled in a superfluid helium bath at 1.8 K and 1.2 bar absolute. The SEHT solenoid is a reconditioned superconducting coil previously used in the 35 T hybrid magnet at LNCMI in Grenoble. The SEHT facility in building 198 has already been used for the ISEULT project to validate experimentally the technological concepts ... More »
THERMAUTONOME : A circulation loop with recondensation by means of a cryogenerator, for characterizing single phase and two-phase flows by measuring pressure drop, and wall temperature increase along the wall of a 30 cm vertical test section. Cryogenerator: 1.5 W at 4.2 K. Pressure: from a few mbar to 3 bar. Temperature: from 3 K to 30 K. Max Power in the loop: 4 W at 10 K.
Thermosiphon test bench : Context Characterization of single phase and two-phase flows (by measurements of mass flow rate, volume ratio, pressure drop and wall temperature) along a vertical test section (h = 1.2 m) and a horizontal test section (Φ = 0.4 m) at the temperatures of liquid helium and nitrogen. The station offers a large versatility in the geometry of the cooling loop.
Ultra high vacuum laboratory : The ultra high vacuum laboratory takes charge of the vacuum calculations for accelerators, the research about material desorption and the development in ultra high vacuum techniques and vacuum theory. Ultra high vacuum oven : 1200°C, 10-6 Pa.
Vacuum techniques workshop : The workshop makes use of the pumping units and leak detectors required by vacuum insulated dewars, and for the tightness tests of cryogenic vessels, tubes and ducts.
Vertical cryostats CV : Accelerating field and quality factor measurements of superconducting radiofrequency cavities. 2 pumping units: 1 g/s at 13 mbar. 1 RF sources: 200 W cw, 700 MHz at 1500 MHz 1 RF source: 80 W cw, 4200 MHz at 8600 MHz CV1 Useful diameter: 0.7 m, height: 2.92 m. LHe height: 1.9 m at 4.2 K, 1.2 m at 1.7 K. Consumption: 1500 l / test. CV2 Useful diameter: 0.45 m, height: 1.7 m. LHe height: 1 m at 4.2 K, 0.6 m at 1.7 K. Consumption: 450 l / test.  
Vertical cryostats for cavity tests : Context Low power RF characterization tests of superconducting cavities at low temperature down to T = 1.8 K. Two buried vertical cryostats (CV1 and CV2) shielded against earth magnetic field allow one to measure accelerating gradient and surface resistance of superconducting cavities. They can accommodate cavities up to Φ = 0.45 m diameter and l = 1 m long in CV1, and Φ = 0.7 m diameter and l = 1.9 m long in CV2.          
Winding laboratory : The winding laboratory, used for making small prototype coils, has a large capacity winding machine with a vertical axis, a winding machine with a horizontal axis and a winding machine with a vertical axis and a horizontal axis for making more complex coil geometries. Each of these machines has a brake to control the mechanical tension on the conductor. There is a 1500 metric tonne hydraulic press with a heating system for heating under mechanical stress (polymerization, bonding, etc.). An oven ... More »
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