Fermilab scientists designed and fabricated the LLRF system for the Horizontal Test Stand in the Meson Test Area. Based on the latest DESY design, this LLRF system successfully supported the first tests in March 2006. As part of the system, Fermilab designed and built a programmable multi-frequency, low-noise Master Oscillator (MO), a Downconverter and Vector Modulator, and a fast piezo tuner assembly instruments with the associated electronics to monitor and control this device.
Fermilab scientists continue vigorously on worldwide R&D efforts towards a system capable of meeting the ILC LLRF requirements. Further LLRF development is needed in areas such as technical performance, reliability, ease of use, tight integration with the control system, and cost reduction. Fermilab’s R&D efforts include noise characterization of Simcon 3.1 boards, board redesign and manufacturing to improve noise characteristics, FPGA firmware developments towards higher Intermediate Frequency (IF) capabilities, and control system integration with DOOCS and EPICS. With the rapid advance of commercially available FPGA-based electronic boards and higher level FPGA programming languages, Fermilab is also exploring their use and suitability for LLRF control applications. A board developed by industry (Lyrtech) has been purchased together with the associated software (Matlab/Simulink/Sysgen) for high-level FPGA programming. In addition, work has also started on prototyping a 32-channel in-house controller card optimized for an ILC RF Unit (Klystron plus three Cryomodules) to explore lower cost and higher density technology. One of the lab’s collaborators, University of Pennsylvania, is involved in the development of an ILC RF unit simulator, including a real-time version of this simulator which is expected to be quite useful for LLRF system developments.