Canadian Light Source goes dark for more stable light over the long haul

New linear accelerator will replace aging infrastructure and enhance the facility’s efficiency and reliability.


Starting Monday, the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan will begin work to replace its linear accelerator (linac) - the system that speeds up electrons, which are then put in a storage ring to produce the ultrabright light researchers use to study materials at the molecular or cellular level.

The new linac will replace aging infrastructure from the Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory that dates back to the 1960s and the early days of the CLS, and will enhance the facility’s efficiency and reliability. Over the next six months, staff will remove the old linac, its electron source and associated operating systems and refurbish the underground tunnel in which it is located. A new linac with a shorter and more modern design will then be installed, including accelerating devices, electromagnets, high-power radiofrequency transmitters, computer control system and ancillary systems, under the direction and supervision of the vendor, Research Instruments (Germany), who designed and built the system.

Video: Senior project manager Johnny Campbell talks about linac replacement project.

CEO Bill Matiko expressed appreciation for the financial support for the project provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the facility’s other funding partners. “Their investment will help ensure that the CLS continues to be a vital component of Canada’s science landscape well into the future.”

“This is a very exciting project for us,” said Mark Boland, CLS Machine Director. “It will substantially improve reliability and will keep our facility operating at high availability along with the world’s best synchrotrons for the next decade and beyond.” Replacements of this sort, he said, are a regular part of keeping science facilities updated and many synchrotrons around the world are also upgrading.

More than 1,000 scientists from Canada and around the world rely on the CLS each year for their research in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, and advanced materials.


Media Relations:

Greg Basky
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Light Source