When designing and operating accelerators it is extremly important to be able to simulate the beam properties. In an ion beam, the motion of the particles perpendicular to the direction of beam propagation is determined by the pattern of magnets used to keep the beam on the desired orbit. The behaviour of the ion beam is similar to that of light ray propagated through a system of lenses. Due to this analogy, a system of magnets for beam transportation is often called ion optics.


At GSI a frequently used tool for simulating ion optical systems is the program MIRKO, which was developed at GSI by B.J. Franczak. MIRKO is in particular used heavily for the design of accelerators and beam transport lines of FAIR. On the other hand, MIRKO is also used in the main control room to control the beam position in the many beam transport lines of GSI beyond the synchrotron SIS18 online.

Due to the central role of MIRKO for GSI and FAIR, the jMIRKO project was initiated. It aims at unifying the two existing versions of MIRKO (Windows and VMS based) into a Java based platform independent version . jMIRKO is in particular intended to guarantee future online use of MIRKO in the main control room.

The program variant MIRKO-Expert runs in the main control room under the operating system VMS. MIRKO-Expert is used in particular for setting up beam transport sections. The application interacts online with the control system: Data from measurements of beam positions are read, correction values for magnets are calculated and sent as new set values to the devices. The graphics frame displays a simulation of the evolution of the beam size in the beam transport line from the synchrotron SIS18 to cave M.

The program variant MIRKO-QW is the original version of MIRKO, developed by B. Franczak. At GSI, MIRKO-QW is routinely used to perform ion optical simulation tasks, among them the optimization of the operation of the existing GSI facility as well as the design of the accelerators of the FAIR facility. MIRKO-QW is mainly used offline. However, there are flavors of MIRKO-QW capable of interacting with the control systems of the particle therapy accelerators at Heidelberg (HIT) and Marburg (PTZ Marburg). MIRKO-QW only runs under Windows. The graphics frame displays the result of a simulation of the slow extraction from the synchrotron SIS18.

The program variant jMIRKO is currently under development by the Synchrotrons division. The goal is to generate a single MIRKO version running under Linux as well as Windows, which may be used to interact with the control system in the main control room. In the long run, jMIRKO is intended to replace MIRKO-QW and MIRKO-Expert by a single unified application. The graphics frame displays a simulation of the evolution of the beam size in the synchrotron SIS18 prior to extraction.




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