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What is NLCTA?

 
NLCTA is an extremely versatile facility that currently hosts programs in accelerator physics, advanced light source R&D and medicine. The 60-150 MeV high-brightness electron beam linear accelerator and extensive infrastructure can be adapted to support a wide range of studies. The facility currently runs programs in free electron laser seeding, dielectric laser acceleration and medical studies ....
 
Currently four different research programs are supported at the Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator: Research of Dielectric Laser Acceleration (E-163), Studies of novel FEL seeding techniques (Echo), the development and characterization of an X-Band gun (XTA), and the beam experimental portion of the development of a novel cancer treatment method with high energy (60-100MeV) electrons (Phaser).
 
Over the past years NLCTA has proven its excellence  by contributing a slew of exciting new results for all four programs mentioned above, culminating in the recent first acceleration of electrons in the dielectrics of E-163 and the measurement of the 15th harmonic of the Echo seeding scheme. Through the past years the experimenters at NLCTA have collaborated with colleagues from various universities, thus broadening the intellectual depth of the research program. NLCTA is poised to be opened as a user facility to other national laboratories, universities and industrial partners. Though the old existing infrastructure has been augmented to suit the specific needs of the current experiments, it turned out to be at the same time very versatile for a broader usage by others. The quick integration of medical research, the successful test of an RF undulator, and support for other radiation experiments at NLCTA are proof of that. Nevertheless, in order to prepare NLCTA as a User Facility for a wide variety of accelerator physics, advanced light source R&D, medical and irradiation experiments, an upgrade to the existing injector section from the X-band to S-band will benefit future users with ten times brighter electron beams, higher beam currents and charges, brighter e-beam radiation, enhanced operational flexibility, and better beam timing stability on a shot-to-shot basis. Most of the required hardware (klystron, modulator, and accelerator section) is readily available at SLAC.
 
A continued diversification of the experimental program is key for a stable future of the facility, which will be driven by user demand for beam time.
 

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