We are working as member of the AWAKE project at CERN on the development of a helicon plasma cell to be used as acceleration stage in the innovative particle driven wake-field particle accelerator concept. This work aims on development of a special diagnostic that can measure plasma densities in the high 10^20 m-3 range with sub-percent relative accuracy. This is a grand challenge and a key measurement to qualify helicon cells for the application in the accelerator concept. Recently a nice news article at CERN has been published summarizing these activities, that take place in a collaborative team between CERN, IPP Greifswald and the Swiss Plasma Center in Lausanne. See here for more information https://home.cern/news/news/experiments/awake-more-plasma-more-acceleration.
Presently a helicon cell with same geometrical properties and a similar radio-frequency setup is being established in the lab at Madison to aid the diagnostic development as well as research on understanding the link between RF deposition and ionization. The cell will be twice as long as the prototype at CERN to start investigating the physic of scaling the cell to longer module length.
This work is funded by the National Science foundation under NSF CAREER award PHY-1455210 and by NSF/Doe Partnership funding under grant PHY-1903316.
— News: 12-01-2019