Accelerator Technology Maturation

Through its Accelerator Technology Maturation program, ARDAP supports the domestic accelerator supply chain by advancing the technology-readiness-level (TRL) of critical technologies across the “valley of death”. The Accelerator Technology Maturation program is closely coordinated with the ARDAP’s Accelerator Technology Production  program, which works to increase the manufacturing readiness level (MRL) of selected critical accelerator technologies.

Accelerator Technology Focus Areas

While there is no current funding in this program area, ARDAP plans in the future to support mid-TRL cross-cutting accelerator research in five primary technology areas that were identified by the Office of Science programs to be strategically important for future scientific facilities:

  • Advances in superconducting accelerator systems, including SRF, SC magnets, and cryogenic engineering; 
  • Beam physics and high-fidelity computer modeling and control, including better diagnostics, control systems, advanced focusing, and beam cooling techniques.
  • Advances in high intensity electron, proton, and ion sources, also including megawatt-class targets for secondary particle sources;
  • Higher average-power radiofrequency and ultrafast laser sources, including power handling devices, and high accuracy X-ray optics; and
  • High-risk, high-reward R&D in advanced materials, particle sources, beam dynamics, acceleration techniques, and other advanced topics.

Questions which inform ARDAP’s Accelerator Technology Maturation strategy include:

  • Does the R&D area impact high-priority SC accelerator missions (both future facility construction and current facility operations) for multiple SC program offices?
  • Is the R&D area recognized as an area of past, current, or potential future U.S. R&D leadership?
  • Has the R&D area been identified as a high-risk, or potentially high-risk, supply chain vulnerability? 

Moving Accelerator Technology to Industrialization with ARDAP’s Accelerator Technology Maturation Program

The table below shows the definition of technology readiness levels (TRLs) and manufacturing readiness levels (MRLs), with the MRL focus area outlined for ARDAP’s Accelerator Technology Maturation program.

TRL 1 Basic principles observed and reported MRL 1 Manufacturing feasibility assessed
TRL 2 Technology concept and/or application formulated MRL 2 Manufacturing concepts defined
TRL 3 Analytical and experimental critical func­tion and/or characteristic proof of concept MRL 3 Manufacturing concepts developed
TRL 4 Component and/or breadboard validation in a laboratory environment MRL 4 Capability to produce the technology in a laboratory environment
TRL 5 Component or breadboard validation in a relevant environment MRL 5 Capability to produce prototype components in a production relevant environment
TRL 6 System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment MRL 6 Capability to produce prototype system or sub­system in a production relevant environment
TRL 7 System prototype demonstration in an operational environment MRL 7 Capability to produce systems, subsystems or components in a production relevant environment
TRL 8 Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstrated MRL 8 Pilot line capability demonstrated; Ready to begin Low Rate Initial Production
TRL 9 Actual system proven through successful mission operations MRL 9 Low rate production demonstrated; Capability in place to begin Full Rate Production

From Technology Readiness Assessment Deskbook, July 2009, DoD_TRA_July_2009_Read_Version.pdf