CONFORM - the COnstruction of a Non-scaling FFAG for Oncology, Research and Medicine -

The non-scaling FFAG accelerator offers the prospect of smaller, simpler, cheaper accelerators operating with a high frequency and a high duty cycle.

The project will
  1. build a 20 MeV electron accelerator, EMMA to test the principle
  2. design a proton accelerator for medical applications, PAMELA
  3. investigate possible applications, from archaeology to zoology
Non-scaling fixed-field alternating gradient accelerators - or NS-FFAG accelerators for short - will be smaller, simpler and significantly cheaper than the synchrotrons, and more flexible than the cyclotrons, that are currently used in a variety of applications. They will have a major impact as next generation hospital-based clinical accelerators for proton and carbon ion beam treatment of cancers, and in diverse fields from archaeology to zoology.

No NS-FFAG accelerator had been constructed until this project. CONFORM moved rapidly from the conceptual design to the construction of a model electron accelerator (EMMA - Electron Model for Many Applications) located at the Daresbury Laboratory near Warrington, which achieved acceleration in March 2011.

The experience gained in the development and operation of EMMA will inform the design and eventual construction of a prototype proton/carbon ion ns-FFAG accelerator for medical applications (PAMELA - Particle Accelerator for MEdicaL Applications).

An extensive R&D programme will evaluate the potential of NS-FFAG accelerators as proton drivers for applications in scientific and technological fields as diverse as energy and environment (eg accelerator driven sub critical reactors, waste transmutation), materials research (eg advanced neutron and muon sources for studies of the structure and dynamics of materials), and fundamental physics (eg the neutrino factory).

CONFORM is sponsored by BASROC and has been awarded a multi-million pound grant from the RCUK Basic Technology programme to pursue this research.

Last modified Wed 27 April 2011 . View page history
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