30 April 2009
New cavity production facility for future industrialisation
Today's issue features a Director's Corner from Kaoru Yokoya, Global Design Effort Asian Regional Director.
As most of you may know, I have just managed to complete my duty as a chairman of the TILC09 Local Organising Committee last week, and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the participants and members of the committee for helping me to carry out the entire conference smoothly and successfully. After taking a breather relief, we have gone back to the usual days full of meetings after video-meetings. Since the new fiscal year has just started at KEK, we have been trapped in meetings discussing various plans for the fiscal year 2009. One of the most important plans for the ILC project is to build a new superconducting radiofrequency (rf) cavity production facility on KEK premises, aiming to gain experiences for industrialisation and future mass-production.
In the joint plenary session held on the first day of the TILC09, Masato Arima, the secretary general of the Advanced Accelerator Association for Promoting Science and Technology (AAA), gave a talk about its activities. A total of 103 companies in a variety of industries, universities and research institutes have joined AAA by 1 April 2009, and have had a series of nine seminars organised by its technical working group, on different themes such as superconducting rf technology, beam measurement and control, or neutron science. These seminars played an important role for industry members to understand the technologies needed for ILC, and for us to learn about the current technological capability of industry. In addition to the technical working group, the communication working group has set up the AAA web site and published its brochure in Japanese and English. The intellectual property working group has started an investigation on how ILC R&D-related intellectual property should be handled in the global framework.
I would say that we are standing at an important milestone towards the industrialisation for ILC now, and KEK should take necessary steps as a responsible laboratory. We think having a technology and infrastructure for the production of large numbers of cavities is one of the most important issues to be addressed, and are planning to build an on-site superconducting rf cavity production facility at KEK. This facility should serve not only the ILC R&D but also other KEK projects like KEKB. A detailed design or timeline for this new facility are to be determined after careful examination, and we will start discussions next month to have consensus in the laboratory. We also need to plan ahead regarding how to operate this facility. We are hoping to have many young scientists and engineers join us in the near future. The construction will start this fiscal year.
-- Kaoru Yokoya