Accelerator Stewardship

Founded in 2014 by the Office of High Energy Physics (HEP), the Accelerator Stewardship program become one of the core R&D elements of ARDAP when the office was established in 2020.

Accelerator Stewardship works to make particle accelerator technology widely available to science and industry by supporting use-inspired basic research. Particle accelerators can provide transformational capabilities in the fields of energy and environment, medicine, industry, national security, and discovery science. The 2009 Accelerators for America’s Future workshop identified challenges in the research, development, and deployment of accelerator technology and subsequently the Accelerator Stewardship was established to address the challenges.

Accelerator Stewardship develops innovative solutions to critical problems by providing grants for use-inspired R&D focused on the topics of interest identified by the federal stakeholders of the Stewardship program. Addressing these complex challenges requires cross-cutting partnerships that draw scientific and technical expertise from universities and industrial accelerator providers in addition to the specialized resources and facilities found at national laboratories. Through this process, the Accelerator Stewardship subprogram works with the broad accelerator user communities and industrial accelerator providers to develop solutions that mutually benefit our customers and the DOE discovery science community.

Accelerator Stewardship facilitates access to national laboratory accelerator facilities and resources for industrial and other U.S. government agency users as well as the developers of accelerators and related technology. The Accelerator Stewardship program operates a dedicated National User Facility, the Accelerator Test Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which provides a testbed for university, laboratory, and industry users to explore the science of particle acceleration and develop new accelerator technologies. The Accelerator Stewardship Test Facility Pilot Program launched in FY 2015 to enhance awareness of, and access to, accelerator test facilities and capabilities.

Accelerator Stewardship broadens and strengthens the community of accelerator users and providers by engaging the entire U.S. accelerator R&D ecosystem in a coordinated manner to solve high-impact challenges. Basic Research Needs Workshops and Requests for Information are used to identify target application areas with broad impact. As the program evolves, new cross-cutting areas of research will be identified based on input from the federal stakeholders, R&D performers, and U.S. industry, and developed through additional Basic Research Needs workshops.

ARDAP manages Accelerator Stewardship in close consultation with its federal stakeholders, which include SC program offices (BES, FES, HEP, NP, and IP), other DOE Program Offices (NNSA, EERE), and other federal agencies (DHS, DOD, NIH, and NSF).

Stewarding Accelerator Technology for a Breadth of Applications

The table below shows the definition of technology readiness levels (TRLs), manufacturing readiness levels (MRLs), and the role of the Accelerator Stewardship program in this space.

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