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Linear accelerators driving Free Electron Lasers (FELs), such as the Free Electron Laser in Hamburg (FLASH) or the X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL), require sophisticated Low Level Radio Frequency (LLRF) control systems. The controller of the LLRF system should stabilize the phase and amplitude of the field in accelerating modules below 0.02% of the amplitude and 0.01 degree for phase tolerances to produce an ultra stable electron beam that meets the required conditions for Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE). Since the LLRF system for the XFEL must be in operation for the next 20 years, it should be reliable, reproducible and upgradeable. Having in mind all requirements of the LLRF control system, the Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) has been chosen to build a prototype of the LLRF system for the FLASH accelerator that is able to supervise 32 cavities of one RF station. The LLRF controller takes advantage of features offered by the ATCA standard. The LLRF system consists of a few ATCA carrier blades, Rear Transition Modules (RTM) and several Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMCs) that provide all necessary digital and analog hardware components. The distributed hardware of the LLRF system requires a number of communication links that should provide different latencies, bandwidths and protocols. The paper presents the general view of the ATC A-based LLRF system, discusses requirements and proposes an application for various interfaces and protocols in the distributed LLRF control system.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2009