Cavity Field Control for Linear Particle Accelerators

Abstract: High-energy linear particle accelerators enable exploration of the microscopic structure of pharmaceuticals, solar cells, fuel cells, high-temperature superconductors, and the universe itself. These accelerators accelerate charged particles using oscillating magnetic fields that are confined in metal cavities. The amplitudes and phases of the electromagnetic fields need to be accurately controlled by fast feedback loops for proper accelerator operation.This thesis is based on the author's work on performance analysis and control design for the field control loops of the linear accelerator at the European Spallation Source (ESS), a neutron microscope that is under construction in Lund, Sweden. The main contribution of the thesis is a comprehensive treatment of the field control problem during flat-top, which gives more insight into the control aspects than previous work. The thesis demonstrates that a key to understand the dynamics of the field control loop is to represent it as a single-input single-output system with complex coefficients. This representation is not new itself but has seen limited use for field control analysis.The thesis starts by developing practical and theoretical tools for analysis and control design for complex-coefficients systems. This is followed by two main parts on cavity field control. The first part introduces parametrizations that enable a better understanding of the cavity dynamics and discusses the most essential aspects of cavity field control. The second part builds on the first one and treats a selection of more advanced topics that all benefit from the complex-coefficient representation: analysis of a polar controller structure, field control design in the presence of parasitic cavity resonances, digital downconversion for low-latency feedback, energy-optimal excitation of accelerating cavities, and an intuitive design method for narrowband disturbance rejection. The results of the investigations in this thesis provide a better understanding of the field control problem and have influenced the design of the field controllers at ESS.