Particle Accelerators and Machine Learning


The High Intensity Proton Accelerator (HIPA) at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) provides the primary beams to PSI’s versatile experimental facilities which in turn provide high intensity beams for research. In an accelerator control room several hundred of continuous sensor data are displayed in order to aid the operators in running the accelerator with maximal performance. We propose to bring Machine Learning (ML) to particle accelerator operation, in order to increase the performance. A more accurate parameter control based on the surrogate modelling will contribute to reliable and safe operation, and increase the accelerator efficiency. The immediate benefits will be: reducing the risks related to the high beam power by reducing the activation and beam losses, an action that will in turn, lead to fewer machine interruptions and possibly higher beam intensities. The project is likely to have a game-changing impact in how
we model and operate charged particle accelerators in the near future.

Starting Date / Status

February 2019


PI / Partners

Cyclotron Development and Beam Dynamics (PSI)

Laboratory for Scientific Computing and Modelling (PSI)



1. Minimise beam losses: To be able to predict the reaction of a knob, especially those at the first sections of the accelerator, a reliable machine model needs to be available.

2. Better control of accelerator parameters: we will establish a fast on-line enhancement of the machine protection system with beam diagnostics data. The accelerator parameters will be predicted from the beam diagnostics data. Appropriate changes to the machine / beamline settings will be proposed as operational enhancements by the surrogate model.

3. Prevent unnecessary machine interruptions: A surrogate model that captures fast responses from the machine can be used in the forecasting of machine interruptions. Here we would expand from research goal 1 and use results from the fusion community [10] (and the references therein).

Source: PSI