CERN Accelerating science


The Sources, Targets and Interactions Group has the mandate to study the interactions of beam with matter, aiming to apply its know-how to particle generation (ISOLDE targets and Fixed targets for  experimental areas, CLIC photoinjectors, AWAKE plasma and polarized e+ e- sources), and to particle interception (collimators, absorbers and dumps). The skills involved and available in the group include Nuclear Physics and Engineering, Mechanical engineering, Material Science, Control systems and Electronic design, Photonics and Laser spectroscopy. The group coordinates the efforts of Accelerator and Technology Sector in the development and test of radiation tolerant electronics, and in the development and use of robotic solutions for remote inspections and interventions in hazardous areas.

The group is responsible for developing and maintaining the FLUKA Monte Carlo code and for providing formal training and support to its users in the accelerator community and to the experiments worldwide. The group is a member of the n_TOF and UA9 collaborations.

The group is formed of five sections.


Acronym Section Name Section Leader

Equipment Controls and Electronics

Alessandro Masi


The ECE section is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of control and measurement systems based on different platforms (PXI, cRIO, PLC, VME) for all the Beam Intercepting Devices in the CERN accelerator complex as well as in several experimental facilities.  Our control systems ensure positioning of collimators, targets and massive dumps with accuracies down to the micrometer level in hazardous environments. The section responsibilities include the development and support of FESA classes, expert GUIs and application programs for the operation of the moveable devices, the development of radiation-tolerant motors and sensors, and the design and development of custom electronics to satisfy the tight requirements in terms of precision, in particular considering the long (>1 km) cables necessary to connect the devices to electronics located in distant radiation-safe areas. The section also provides turnkey solutions for measurements, test systems and data analysis applications based on LabView and a selected set of National Instruments and Alliance Members' products. The section maintains as well high voltage, fast (in the order of picoseconds) switching electronics and fast acquisitions for use with RILIS and CTF3.
The section supports the n_TOF and CHARM facilities on electronics design, acquisition and control software and is involved in the UA9 crystal experiment in the SPS and LHC.
The section is responsible for providing the RADMON monitoring system to assess the radiation levels to which electronics in the LHC and the other accelerators are submitted, and for the coordination of the radiation tests on Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) electronic components. In addition, the section is in charge of the robotic interventions in all of the CERN accelerator complex and coordinates the development of novel robotic solutions for remote robotic inspection and telemanipulation in hazardous environments. Last but not least, the section provides CERN-wide LabVIEW support and maintains a framework for Rapid Application Development (RADE) based on LabVIEW, which includes interfaces to CMW, RBAC and JAPC.


Fluka Development and Applications

Francesco Cerutti


The FDA section hosts the FLUKA team and is in charge of the FLUKA code development, maintenance and support and performes beam-machine interaction studies for all CERN accelerators and FLUKA calculations for different applications (e.g. medical).
In collaboration with other sections of the group, the section participates in the conceptual design of beam intercepting devices as well as new target areas. The section is responsible for the AD and n_TOF target areas.
The FDA section leads the Radiation to Electronics (R2E) project and supports the related radiation tests for the accelerator equipment, taking charge in particular of the CHARM facility, together with the ECE section.
It contributes to the activities of the n_TOF facility and of the UA9 collaboration.
The FDA section has the privilege of affiliating Nobel Laureate Carlo Rubbia


Lasers and Photocathodes

Valentin Fedosseev


The LP section is in charge of laser-based particle sources, in particular the RILIS  (Resonance Ionization Laser Ion Source) of the ISOLDE radioactive ion beam laboratory and the photoinjectors of the CLIC test facility. The section also contributes to the construction and integration of a laser installation for the AWAKE experiment at SPS. The section maintains a prominent expertise on high-power pulsed lasers, and on the development of photocathodes for high charge and high brightness photoinjectors. The section actively participates in several European and international R&D networks on laser technology applications for particle sources.


Radioactive Beams Sources

Richard Catherall


The RBS section is responsible for the fabrication of target units for the production of radioactive ion beams for the ISOLDE Facility. This role encompasses target material and ion source developments for the production of new beams and the development of the ISOLDE target stations and dedicated off-line equipment. The section also maintains an expertise in the operation of the separators and other secondary beam line equipment such as the RFQ Cooler.
The technical coordination of the ISOLDE Facility also falls within the responsibility of the section and along with maintaining the infrastructure, any upgrade of the Facility, including a potential increase in the primary beam such as in the HIE-ISOLDE project, is managed by the section. The radioactive nature of the work done at ISOLDE implies that the section has the necessary competencies in nuclear engineering and the handling of open radioactive sources and strives to improve and optimise the procedures and tooling for interventions in the ISOLDE radioactive areas.
The section also houses the recently approved MEDICIS project where a parallel production line will produce radioisotopes initially destined for medical research in hospitals and research centres throughout Switzerland.


Targets, Collimators and Dumps

Marco Calviani


The TCD section is responsible for beam intercepting devices in the CERN accelerators and secondary beam lines. The section’s team of engineers and technicians carries out the conceptual design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of the mechanical systems and works closely with the ECE section on development of the mechatronics systems needed for operation.
The team organizes and undertakes expert interventions in the beam facilities to carry out mechanical repairs or upgrades of its devices.
The section is responsible for thermo-mechanical studies on future developments of high-energy targets and dumps, working with the FLUKA study results provided by the EET section. As part of this activity the section is constantly developing its expertise in the behavior of materials  under extreme working conditions.
Studies on the use of remote handling and improving the compatibility of beam intercepting devices with remote handling techniques are also carried out within the section.