Accelerator Technology Production

Through its Accelerator Technology Production program, ARDAP supports the domestic accelerator supply chain by working to increase the manufacturing readiness level (MRL) of selected critical accelerator technologies.  The Accelerator Technology Production program is closely coordinated with the ARDAP’s Accelerator Technology Maturation  program, which works to advance the technology readiness level of critical technologies.

The Accelerator Technology Production Program

The central goal of the Accelerator Technology Production program is to increase supply chain resiliency by:

  • Engaging the expertise and facilities of the domestic accelerator R&D ecosystem in a manner that enhances knowledge and technology transfer and
  • Strengthening the accelerator technology capabilities of U.S. industry, with a focus on strengthening production capability. 

Currently, there are two activities in the Accelerator Technology Production program:

  • “Accelerator Technology Sector Business Plans” which funds the analysis and development of business plans and
  • “Accelerator Technology Partnerships” which funds translational research that will result in strengthening domestic industrial capability and reducing supply chain risk.

Accelerator Technology Focus Areas

ARDAP supports manufacturing capability development 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.

Accelerator Technology Sector Business Plans

Accelerator Technology Sector Business Plans are being developed for specific technologies within the production technology priority sectors identified above. The business plans are intended to describe the current state of the market and an optimal partnership between industry, academia, and national laboratories and will include an analysis of the pathway to production at market scale, an analysis on what would be needed to make the industry sustainable, and an analysis of workforce development needs.

Accelerator Technology Partnerships

Accelerator Technology Partnerships will leverage the complementary strengths of industry and the national laboratories and will lead to an enhanced U.S. production capability of one or multiple key accelerator technologies needed for new, upgraded, and operating Office of Science accelerator facilities over the next 10 years. Specific technologies within one of the production technology priority sectors will be identified for investment with input from the Office of Science Accelerator Joint Oversight Group. 

  • The form of the partnership will depend on the chosen technology area and will be optimized to best address supply chain risks in full view of the current market conditions and the unique capabilities of the public and private sectors.
  • A successful project will lead to an equitable sharing of developed intellectual property (IP) between the Government and industry and will allows each partner to collaboratively engage in pre-competitive development of the technology. Federally owned IP will be available to all domestic industrial entities, even those outside the partnership.
  • Ideally, the partnership will lead to a sustainable capability through the technology’s direct accelerator market or indirect related markets, although continued long-term Federal investment may be appropriate for some high-risk and critical technology components.

Moving Accelerator Technology to Industrialization with ARDAP’s Accelerator Technology Production 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 Production 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,