Athena: Helmholtz ARD Distributed Test Facility

The Helmholtz ARD programme has led to the development of a coherent strategy and built up of an improved personnel base for accelerator R&D in Germany. The programme sponsors a new type of collaboration in workshops and experiments across all involved Helmholtz centres and universities. It is the goal of Helmholtz ARD to further strengthen these collaborative aspects and to foster the resulting synergetic effects. For this purpose the “Helmholtz Roadmap for Large Infrastructures” foresees the implementation of a “distributed ARD test facility”.

The proposal to build up a distributed ARD test facility is a common project by the Helmholtz ARD centres and institutes: DESY, GSI with HI-Jena, FZJ, HZB, HZDR and KIT.

The project proposal has three goals:

  • The linking of present accelerator research infrastructure (collaboration).
  • The upgrading of existing facilities for a common usage (synergy).
  • The forming of a few “lighthouse” facilities for internationally leading research towards ultra-compact accelerators and radiation sources (leadership).

A core theme of the proposed investments will be the combined development of ultra-compact accelerators and radiation sources for science and medicine.

This includes R&D up to reaching user readiness and industrial accelerator quality. The Helmholtz centres have the required knowledge and experience to reach such a quantum leap in novel accelerator technology. Many of the ARD subtopics directly contribute to the goal of a distributed ARD test facility, which therefore is the logical next step in collaboration. A detailed project proposal for acquiring strategic investment funds is being prepared by the Helmholtz centres and will be submitted for review and approval in 2015.

A preparation team ( has been formed for the work and submission of the proposal:

Preparation Team Helmholtz Distributed ARD Test Facility
Ralph Assmann
Ulrich Dorda
Markus Büscher
Andreas Lehrach
Vincent Bagnoud
Dennis Schumacher
Malte Kaluza
Matt Zepf
Andreas Jankowiak
Thorsten Kamps
Johannes Bahrdt
Ulrich Schramm
Michael Gensch
Anke-Susanne Müller
Erik Bründermann

The involved Helmholtz centers bring in various existing or planned infrastructures:

  • “ELBE centre for high power radiation sources” (HZDR)
  • “SINBAD centre for short innovative bunches and accelerators“ (DESY)
  • “JuSPARC Peta-Watt laser centre for ultra-fast studies and polarized beams“ (FZJ)
  • “Test stands for ion acceleration and transport“ (GSI), “centre for next-generation high-power laser development” (HI-Jena)
  • “BERLinPro centre for high brightness CW beams in SC accelerators“ (HZB)
  • “FLUTE facility for THz radiation and short pulses“ (KIT)