Variable frequency heavy-ion linac, RILAC I. Design, construction and operation of its accelerating structure
A variable frequency linear accelerator at RIKEN (IPCR), which is named RILAC, is designed to accelerate ions of almost every element in the periodic table. In this report, the design, construction and performance of the resonator cavities of this linac are described. A new accelerating structure was developed for the variable frequency scheme. The principal aim of the development was to obtain a configuration within the cavity to keep a uniform voltage distribution along the accelerating axis over the wide range of resonant frequencies required. The final form adopted is a coaxial quarter-wave type resonator with a race-track-like cross section for its coaxial inner and outer conductors. It has a movable shorting device as a frequency tuner and its open end is enlarged and loaded with drift tubes, connected to the inner and outer conductors alternatingly. The structure can maintain the required uniformity of the accelerating voltage within 10% in spite of resonant frequency tuning between 17 and 45 MHz. A relatively modest accelerating gradient was chosen so that cw operation could be realized. The RILAC is composed of six such cavities which are independently excited and it succeeded in the acceleration of a beam through all the cavities in 1981.