The European X-ray Free Electron Laser has reached one of its final major milestones. The cryomodules used to accelerate the electrons, supplied by IRFU, were installed on-site in Hamburg, Germany. A first electron beam was accelerated across the section of the first 17 cryomodules.
The delivery by IRFU of 103 cryomodules to E-XFEL marks the culmination of ten years of work. Each cryomodule is comprised of eight RF superconducting cavities. Their integration was carried out by Alsyom, on the basis of one cryomodule per week, on an ultra-clean technical platform built in 2012 in Saclay's "E-XFEL Village". The last cryomodule was shipped to Hamburg in July 2016. The installation and cooling of the 97 cryomodules was completed in December 2016.
The tests carried out in Hamburg on the cryomodules revealed outstanding performance—to the point that some cavities turned out to be "cleaner" after integration than before. This performance once again highlights IRFU's unparalleled expertise worldwide.
The entire 1.5 km-long superconducting accelerator is now installed and ready to operate at its nominal 2 K temperature (-271.15 °C). A first electron beam was accelerated across the section corresponding to the first 17 cryomodules, and then went through the entire linear accelerator. The commissioning process will continue until the light reaches, literally, the end of the tunnel.
Contact: Olivier Napoly