The core components of ISIS have been in use for many years and the underlying technology has been understood since the 1950s. However, ISIS has always supported a dedicated program of accelerator research and development. Accelerator physicists and engineers work to push ISIS towards higher neutron production with greater reliability, enabling ISIS scientists to produce more and better science.
Recent work includes the replacement of the original ISIS pre-injector (the first stage of acceleration) with a Radio Frequency Quadrupole, or RFQ. This has boosted the amount of charge injected into the synchrotron and greatly improved the reliability of the injector system.
The construction of ISIS TS2 means 50% more protons are required from the synchrotron. To accelerate these extra protons without increasing the beam loss levels, ISIS Technology groups have designed and installed a second-harmonic accelerating system. This method allows a larger area of the synchrotron to be used for acceleration ensuring the extra protons will not be lost.