Second CLARA User Meeting

The second CLARA User meeting was held on 16th of June to provide updates on the accelerator since the first CLARA user meeting held in June 2019. The meeting took place online over Zoom and was attended by 65 people.

CLARA test facility at Daresbury Lab.
CLARA test facility at Daresbury Lab. (Credit: STFC)

The machine status, upgrades to BA1, and a forward look at issues related to the upcoming user exploitation run were presented. The audience were particularly engaged with the status of the machine. Even though an exact date when we can resume the suspended exploitation experimental run cannot be confirmed now (due to uncertainties involved in complex nature of issues to be addressed), a tentative plan to restart in September 2021 was mentioned. Local experimental contacts will resume the meetings with exploitation users to progress experiment planning in the near future.

Phase 2 progress was presented, including the design of FEBE. The FEBE design has progressed significantly during the past 2 years and the facility offers excellent flexibility to use FEL ready ultra-high brightness beams for novel experiments on CLARA. This was the first opportunity to share the design progress with users since the first User meeting. In addition to presenting details of the overall FEBE design, the hutch design was also described, which includes a dedicated suite of diagnostics to characterise the beam. Several possible experimental configurations were presented. The range of beam parameters from Day 1 values towards nominal ‘standard’ design parameters (which will be confirmed before exploitation call is issued sometime in 2024) were discussed. Users were encouraged to get in touch with ASTeC staff for more challenging beam parameters, which may require significant R&D to implement in collaboration with the user groups.

Thanks to ASTeC and Technology staff who have helped to make significant progress on CLARA Phase 1 and Phase 2 despite the challenges faced by COVID-19 restrictions. Issues identified will be progressed soon to improve the beam quality and to exploitation will be resumed in the near future hopefully delivering a second exploitation period as successful as the first one.