Machine Protection and Interlock Systems for Circular Machines—Example for LHC

R. Schmidt


This paper introduces the protection of circular particle accelerators from accidental beam losses. Already the energy stored in the beams for accelerators
such as the TEVATRON at Fermilab and Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) at CERN could cause serious damage in case of uncontrolled beam loss. With the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the energy stored in particle beams has reached a value two orders of magnitude above previous accelerators and poses new threats with respect to hazards from the energy stored in the particle beams. A single accident damaging vital parts of the accelerator could
interrupt operation for years. Protection of equipment from beam accidents is mandatory. Designing a machine protection system requires an excellent understanding of accelerator physics and operation to anticipate possible failures that could lead to damage. Machine protection includes beam and equipment monitoring, a system to safely stop beam operation (e.g. extraction of the beam towards a dedicated beam dump block or stopping the beam at low energy) and an interlock system providing the glue between these systems. This lecture will provide an overview of the design of protection systems for accelerators and introduce various protection systems. The principles are illustrated with examples from LHC.


Machine protection; interlock system; high-power accelerator; beam loss; accident.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.