Summer Student Project: ISIS-12

Extract Kicker System Electrical Model

The ISIS synchrotron accelerates two bunches of protons up to 84% the speed of light over approximately 10,000 revolutions. On the last pass, the Kicker magnets are switched on to extract the two bunches towards the neutron targets. The magnet has to turn on to 5,000 Amps in the time available between the two circulating bunches, less than 200 nanoseconds.

The Extract Kicker power supply charges a pulse forming network (PFN) up to 50kV over a few milliseconds. The energy is released to the magnet via a matched impedance cable by the closing of a thyratron switch. The circuit was designed in the 1980s. Since then technology has moved forward and we are looking at ways to improve the system for efficiency, reliability and stability.

Rather than spending a lot of time and money installing new hardware to see if it works, it is preferable to have a computer model of the circuit to try idea on first. Not to mention the mess that would be made if it does not work as expected.

The existing Extract Kicker system model is not very accurate. I would like a student to look at the circuit, confirm which component parts are in use, take measurements and produce a more accurate circuit model.

The project is scalable for a placement between 4 to 12 weeks. A student placed here for a long period may be interested in being involved in some of the Section’s other projects including building a thyratron demonstration system and development of a high power solid-state switch.

Supervisor: Johnny Ranner (

You might particularly like this if you are interested in any of these: electrical engineering, engineering, physics, other natural sciences.

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