Development of a Solid State RF System for the CAMD Synchrotron Light Source

Mr. Daren Launey, CAMD  is the PI on this Project

Dr. Ashok Srivastava and Mr. John Scalzo of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science are Co-PIs.



CAMD is a user facility servicing hundreds of Louisiana scientists and engineers a year, however a critical component that is vital to the accelerator’s operation relies on an obsolete technology. This proposal seeks funding to replace that component and allow CAMD to continue operations with the latest technology.


A vital component of all synchrotron light sources such as CAMD is the Radio Frequency System, or RF system. The RF system generates the high electric field that accelerates electrons in the ring allowing the synchrotron to provide light for hours. As electrons in the ring lose energy due to the desirable emission of synchrotron radiation, they need to be accelerated back to full energy in order to sustain operations.


A major part of the RF System is a high-powered amplifier. Since CAMD’s start in 1991, this amplifier has been based on klystron technology. This was an appropriate option at the time because klystrons were used in broadcast television transmitters and a supply of new klystrons was always available. Newer RF amplification technologies, helped by the TV switch to digital broadcast, became widely used in industry, and klystrons of this type are no longer being manufactured. Klystrons have an expected life of about 10 years, however, due to their in-vacuum components, high electrical power, and ceramic pieces, this lifetime could be cut short by a catastrophic fault with no possibility of a repair. Currently, CAMD operates using two of these RF systems. Although CAMD can operate at diminished capacity if one RF system fails, failure of the second RF system will curtail operations. This proposal addresses this issue with the assembly of a new generation of high-power solid-state RF.