Divison Large Research Facilities (GFA)
The Division of Large Research Facilities (GFA) is responsible for the construction, operation and development of the particle accelerators at PSI.
Accelerator facilities form the backbone of the main research activities at PSI. The high intensity proton accelerator (HIPA) is used to generate muons for muon spin spectroscopy (LMU ), and neutrons by spallation from a target (SINQ ). The Swiss Light Source (SLS) is a state-of-the-art electron storage ring which generates high brightness photon beams for users of synchrotron radiation (PSD ). A hard X-Ray Free Electron Laser, SwissFEL, was inaugurated at the end of 2016.
It is based on a low emittance 5.8 GeV linear electron accelerator. The facility provides extremely short, very bright pulses of X-rays for time resolved experiments. Construction of a soft X-ray free electron laser (ATHOS), driven by the same electron linac, has also begun. These instruments are used by a large national and international multi-disciplinary research community.
GFA is also responsible for the operation of a compact proton cyclotron and attached beamlines (PROSCAN), dedicated to the treatment of cancer patients within the Centre for Proton Therapy (ZPT). A third rotating gantry, GANTRY 3, was recently added to this treatment facility. A major upgrade of the SLS is currently under design. This upgrade will result in an increase of the brightness of the source by two orders of magnitude.
The division GFA is organized in four departments: “Accelerator Operation and Development (ASA)”, “Accelerator Technology (ABT)”, “Electronics and Control Systems (AEK)”, and “Engineering and Coordination (AIK)”.
These departments cover a broad range of accelerator science & technology including beam dynamics and electromagnetic fields, accelerator specific technologies like magnets, high frequency resonators or vacuum technology, and accelerator operation for all PSI facilities from a common central control room. Advanced mechanical design, manufacturing and project management services are provided not only for GFA but for all PSI divisions. The new department AEK is aimed at centralizing electronics and embedded subsystems developments that are used in different areas of accelerator technology. Over a longer period these services can be extended to support the entire PSI.