Director's Corner

CLIC reaches a milestone

| 6 December 2012

It is reporting season. As you all know the ILC community is hard at work producing the Technical Design Report that also includes the Detector Baseline Design reports. Similarly, the CLIC collaboration with associated Detector and Physics studies group have been hard at work completing the CLIC Conceptual Design Report (CDR). The three CDR volumes covering Accelerator, Detector and Physics and Summary/Implementation plans weigh in at  800, 290 and 80 pages, respectively. The documentation probably surpasses by a large amount – in scope, details and volume – what is normally called a CDR for a project, but then again, there is a lot of work to report on.

The CLIC CDR preparation goes back several years. The CLIC concept development was given a substantially increased focus in 2004 by the CERN Council, and the importance of the R&D efforts were reaffirmed in the European Strategy report in 2006. Since 2008, the focus of the R&D has been on addressing a set of key feasibility issues which are essential for proving the fundamental validity of the CLIC concept, as well as corresponding detector and physics studies for CLIC. The CLIC CDR submission was finally scheduled for 2012 to be in time for the European Strategy update, as well as similar strategy exercises in other regions.

The comprehensive CLIC accelerator volume of the CDR provides detailed descriptions of the accelerator layout, its components and the expected performance of the CLIC machine. In particular, it describes technical solutions to the key feasibility issues, thus proving the validity of the CLIC concept. Prototypes of many of the technical subsystems have been successfully tested at the CLIC test facility at CERN and at other facilities around the world. Power, schedules and civil engineering issues are also covered.

The CLIC physics and detector CDR volume gives an overview of the extensive CLIC physics potential. The physics aims together with the challenging beam-induced background conditions are driving the two detector designs CLIC_ILD and CLIC_SiD. These detector concepts are based on the ILD and SiD concepts, initially designed for the International Linear Collider. Detailed detector benchmark studies, using key physics processes as examples, demonstrate that physics measurements can be performed to high precision, despite the beam-induced background.

The focus of the physics and detector CDR and the accelerator CDR has been on the maximum CLIC centre-of-mass energy of 3 TeV. This energy corresponds to the most challenging situation for both the accelerator and the detector technologies, while simultaneously providing an outlook on the ultimate physics reach. Exploring the full physics potential of an e+e− collider under optimal conditions, however, requires the availability of a broad range of centre-of-mass energies, and lower energy operation and a staged implementation have been studied more extensively in the last two years.

The third CDR volume focuses on a staged CLIC implementation and also recalls some of the main points described in the more detailed technical volumes. The document discusses key implementation issues as costs, power, luminosity scenarios, schedules and a physics programme implemented in stages. It also includes the proposed objectives and work plan of the post CDR phase  from 2012 to 2016.

In addition, a shorter overview document was submitted as input to the European Strategy update, complementing a common ILC/CLIC paper on the Linear Collider physics potential.


Looking forward

Within the framework of the future common Linear Collider project the CLIC plans are firmly focused on providing an option for a future multi-TeV e+e- machine. The CLIC accelerator project aims to present a Project Implementation Plan by 2016, at the time when LHC results at full energy will become available. The detailed work plan for the next period focuses on technical studies, industrial collaboration and system developments, along with implementation studies for construction and operation of CLIC in a few energy stages. In particular the lower energy stages need to be re-optimised. Where possible the work will be done in common with ILC, in the areas where similar challenges exists and hence similar solutions can be pursued.

In a similar way objectives have been defined for the CLIC physics and detector study. They focus on physics studies, detector optimisation and the development of technology demonstrators. In both cases the work will be carried out in the framework of collaborative institute agreements between all the partners – and as of February also organised within the Linear Collider Collaboration.

Steinar Stapnes

Steinar Stapnes is the European Representative in the ILC International Development Team's Executive Board.
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