Researcher prepares a conductor sample for a test

Conductor characterization is a critical element in identifying proper specifications for future conductors.

Conductor development is a critical component of the USMDP,  vital to addressing the program’s mission and achieving its goals. The role of the CPRD program within the USMDP is twofold:

  1. Procurement of “workhorse” conductors to support magnet R&D.
  2. Further industrial development of more advanced conductors relevant to the MDP through sponsorship of focused R&D.

Critical elements of CPRD include a definition of achievable goals and milestones for:

  • Determining the performance limits of Nb3Sn and high-temperature superconductor (HTS) conductors.
  • Understanding uniformity and reliability, especially of HTS conductors.
  • Understanding future conductor scalability and cost.
  • Evaluating factors critical for eventual worldwide capacity ramp-up for future projects to minimize start-up costs and allow more competition in the private sector.

In its procurement role, CPRD provides the USMDP with a timely supply of production-quality conductors with which to make cables for experimental magnets. The R&D purpose of CPRD is to facilitate the achievement of USMDP goals by anticipating future magnet development needs, including both low-temperature superconductor (LTS) and high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wires and cables.

Two researchers at a workbench near a cable winding machine.

Researchers wind superconducting wire into cables for new magnets for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider Accelerator Upgrade Project.

Conductor development leads magnet development by five years or more, so CPRD must envision conductor needs 10 to 20 years out.  This might involve conductors beyond the capability of Nb3Sn or ones that do not require liquid helium, since helium supplies are finite and the element is likely to become increasingly expensive.