Beam Parameters

High-intensity proton LHC-like beam pulses are extracted from the SPS towards HiRadMat. Within the SPS up to ~3.5·1013 protons per pulse are accelerated to a momentum of 440 GeV/c and extracted to focal spots as small as ~0.5 mm2 (smaller beamspots down to ~0.25 mm2 are available upon request). The available beam parameters can be found in the following table. Please note that the table shows the entire parameter space of available beam properties but not limitations of certain parameter combinations. Upon discussion with the SPS operators beam parameters can be tuned to match the needs of each experiment.

  Protons 208Pb Ions
Beam Momentum 440 GeV/c 173.5 GeV/n (36.1 TeV per ion)
Pulse Energy up to 2.4 MJ up to 21 kJ
Minimum Bunch Intensity 5 · 109 protons 3 · 107 ions
Maximum Bunch Intensity 1.2 · 1011 protons 7 · 107 ions
Number of Bunches 1 to 288 52
Maximum Pulse Intensity 3.46 · 1013 protons 3.64 · 109 ions
Bunch Length 11.24 cm 11.24 cm
Bunch Spacing 25 ns 100 ns
Pulse length 7.95 us 5.2 us
Cycle length 22.9 or 40.8 s 13.2 s
Beam Size at Target variable around 1mm2 variable around 1 mm2

The HiRadMat facility generally uses a 440 GeV proton beam extracted from the SPS with a pulse length of up to 7.95 µs and a maximum pulse energy of up to 2.4 MJ. In addition to protons, 208Pb ion beams with a momentum of 173.5 GeV/nucleon, a pulse length of up to 5.2 µs and a total pulse energy of up to 21 kJ can be used too.


HiRadMat offers two test stands on which experiments can be mounted. Experiments are mounted on so-called experimental tables within HiRadMat's surface laboratory in building 876 (BA7) and then transported to the underground target area. The experimental tables enable fast and safe transport of the experiments and fulfill the need for remote handling when experiments need to be moved to the cool-down area after beam time. Up to two experiments can be mounted at the same time for a beam time run and if a large scale setup is required by an experiment multiple tables can be combined

The layout of the target area offers multiple auxiliary systems like cooling water or pressurized air connections and a large array of electronic connections, which are accessible from the HiRadMat control room. Additional auxiliary systems (vacuum connections, optical fibers, additional electronic connections, cryogenic flexlines) can be connected through the direct feedthrough between the auxiliary (TT61) and target area (TNC) tunnels. Together with the shielded area in TT61 and the bunker in TJ7 sensitive equipment can be safely operated close to the experiments.

HiRadmat Beamline

HiRadMat (High-Radiation to Materials) is a users facility at CERN, designed to provide high-intensity short-pulse 440 GeV proton or 173.5 GeV/n 208Pb beams to a dedicated target area. HiRadMat is not a facility where large doses can be accumulated during an experiment. The unique capability of HiRadMat is to test the dynamic effects of short beam pulses on material samples, full scale accelerator components like beam loss monitors, collimators or beam dumps, particle detectors and even superconducting magnet strands in conditions that are comparable to the LHC. The HiRadMat facility was initialized from within the LHC Collimation Project and went into operation with its first beam time run in 2012. As of today, 36 dedicated experiments with an integrated number of extracted protons of ~3·1016 have been performed at HiRadMat.

Layout of HRMT
Overview Layout of the HiRadMat Facility.

The HiRadMat Facility consists of three underground sections adjacent to the SPS to LHC transfer lines:

  • TNC: Target and cool-down area
  • TJ7: Shielded bunker with direct line of sight towards the target area
  • TT61: Shielded auxiliary tunnel adjacent to the target area

The TNC target area contains a fixed beam diagnostics set-up consisting of a Beam Television (BTV) and Beam Pickup position monitor (BPKG) for on-line analysis of the lateral beam size and its position. Experiments are mounted on the two test stands with embedded electrical and cooling water connections. Behind the experiments, the beam dump absorbs the primary beam & the secondary particle shower while the cool-down area allows experiments to cool 

In front of TNC, TJ7 houses a shielded bunker located roughly 40 meters away from the target area that can be used for sensitive equipment that needs a direct line of sight to the experiment (non-radiation-hard cameras, laser Doppler vibrometers and connected equipment like data acquisition systems or computers).

TT61 the shielded auxiliary tunnel that contains the permanent BTV optical measurement installation. Furthermore, an electrical patch field enables the connection of sensitive equipment with short signal paths to the experimental test stands.  Two direct feedthroughs between TT61 and TNC allow the connection of auxiliary equipment like gas tubes, UHV hoses or optical fibers. TJ7 and TT61 have CERN network-enabled ethernet ports to facilitate remote control.

Transnational Access

Users will have full access to the CERN infrastructure and CERN staff will be available to assist in preparation, during and after the test campaign. This support includes: preparation of the test area, provision of a control room, support to logistics, transport and installation of equipment, provision of high-performance instrumentation for testing and measurements, support in design, integration, operation and safety

The ARIES TA programme offers a fund to support the travel and subsistence of user groups visiting HiRadMat.