Berkeley Lab

More About the USMDP

The U.S. Magnet Development Program aggressively pursues the development of superconducting accelerator magnets that operate as closely as possible to the fundamental limits of superconducting materials and at the same time minimize or eliminate magnet “training” — the need to break in a magnet in a series of steps to achieve its design field strength.

LBNL has been named as the leader of this R&D program, partnering with Fermilab and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, with opportunities to come for additional partners engaged in R&D relevant to high-field magnets.

Background and Motivation

The 2014 Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) Report identified a critical need for transformational high field magnet R&D focused on substantially increasing performance and lowering the cost per tesla-meter. This need was subsequently reiterated in a report by the Accelerator R&D subpanel of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel.

In response, the DOE Office of High Energy Physics initiated the ambitious U.S. Magnet Development Program, coordinated by LBNL, based on four goals (sidebar) that summarize the P5 and Subpanel recommendations.


GOAL 1: Explore the performance limits of Nb3Sn accelerator magnets with a focus on minimizing the required operating margin and significantly reducing or eliminating training.
GOAL 2: Develop and demonstrate an HTS accelerator magnet with a self-field of 5 T or greater compatible with operation in a hybrid LTS/HTS magnet for fields beyond 16 T.
GOAL 3: Investigate fundamental aspects of magnet design and technology that can lead to substantial performance improvements and magnet cost reduction.
GOAL 4: Pursue Nb3Sn and HTS conductor R&D with clear targets to increase performance and reduce the cost of accelerator magnets.

Elements of USMDP’s Mission

USMDP’s goals will be achieved by focusing on high field dipole development along four elements.

  1. Establishment of a baseline design to demonstrate feasibility of 16 T magnets and the development of higher risk innovative concepts to improve performance and reduce cost.
  2. Feasibility assessment of accelerator magnets based on HTS materials.
  3. A supporting program of science and technology development that serves as the core of the MDP. This component will provide a means of exploring new design concepts, instrumentation, diagnostics and fabrication techniques in a controlled and cost-effective way. The model magnets will serve as platforms for integration of the results of these ongoing activities.
  4. A conductor development program that challenges existing strand and cable performance parameters and is driven by the magnet R&D goals, and which supports these main elements.

The USMDP is focused on transformational magnet technologies, leveraging the significant experience base developed in the magnet programs while incorporating a strong science-based element to address limitations to magnet performance. Success will rely upon a collaborative effort of U.S. national labs, industry and universities that takes maximum advantage of existing infrastructure and expertise at the participating institutions by combining and coordinating intellectual and infrastructure resources.

The work outlined here will advance high-energy physics while increasing our own capabilities in accelerator magnet technology. This will position the U.S. for a leadership position in the development of enabling technology for the next generation of very high energy proton-proton colliders and, in the nearer term, establish a technology base for a possible energy upgrade of the LHC. As an HEP funded Program, its primary focus is on magnets for accelerators, but the generic approach will develop magnet technologies that can be applied to a large variety of applications across the DOE Office of Science and beyond.

Further Details…