Introduction

We support UK tech companies and universities in the research and development of products for application in the Space, Accelerator, Ground, Aviation and Nuclear (SAGAN) industries. A common theme in these industries is operation in challenging radiation environments. Components and systems must be tested and qualified for their radiation resilience. The deleterious effects of radiation range from performance degradation to catastrophic failure.

Simulation and radiation testing both play a crucial role in understanding the impact of radiation on sensor technologies and electronic systems, and for developing shielding mitigation solutions. We use the latest state-of-the-art software simulation tools developed at CERN.

We have strong links with irradiation facilities for testing, including: powerful cobalt 60 gamma sources for investigating ionising dose damage; nuclear research reactors for studying dose and atomic displacement damage. We provide guidance and support throughout the testing.

About us

The SAGAN radiation team has some 20 years of experience simulating radiation environments and testing and evaluating the impact on sensor and readout instrumentation. Dr. Ian Dawson coordinates the team’s activities and is a leading radiation expert at CERN, with major contributions to the design, construction and physics exploitation of the successful ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. A key responsibility of the SAGAN team is determining which technologies are suitable for application in the challenging radiation environments found at the LHC. Typically, radiation hardened technologies are required, but in some cases commercial off-the-shelf systems can be employed, in conjunction with radiation mitigation strategies such as optimised shielding design. In addition to expert services for CERN, the SAGAN team also works with UK tech companies in the research and development of products for application in challenging radiation environments. A recent example is the development of radiation resilient ultrasound transducers for NDT application in the nuclear industry, supported by Innovate UK.

The team:

Dr. Ian Dawson – Senior physicist at CERN and the University of Sheffield. Expert with international reputation in simulating high-energy particle and nuclear radiation environments and evaluating the impact on state-of-the-art sensor technologies. In 2018 Dr. Dawson was awarded a one year commission from CERN to evaluate the impact of radiation across all the major experiments of the LHC, for which he organised several workshops. The conclusions are currently being written up as a key CERN publication to serve as a major reference for future accelerator initiatives.

Dr. Katherine Krawec – Research Associate at the University of Sheffield with expertise in simulating radiation backgrounds for the nuclear industry using the GEANT4 particle transport code. PhD in radiation chemistry.

Dr. Paul Miyagawa – Research Associate at the University of Sheffield responsible for simulating radiation backgrounds at the CERN Large Hadron Collider using the FLUKA particle transport software