Non-scaling fixed-field alternating gradient accelerators - or NS-FFAG accelerators for short - will be smaller, simpler and significantly cheaper than the synchrotrons, and more flexible than the cyclotrons, that are currently used.
There are many proposed applications for such a machine ranging from materials research to medical applications (e.g. hadron/ion therapy) to fundamental physics (e.g. a Neutrino Factory). Hadron therapy would revolutionise cancer treatment by applying beam energy much better to the exact target.
The picture shows the many magnets that are required in the small 16 metre circumference ring. It is designed to be very flexible, as the name implies, and the dipole and quadrupole magnets are mounted on independent radial linear slides to permit magnetic field adjustments. The ring, injection and extraction lines are heavily instrumented with diagnostics (e.g. 2 beam Profile Monitors per cell) to allow close monitoring of the beam parameters at all positions.
The £6M project is part-way through its 3.5 year timescale, and is now in the procurement phase, with many beamline components already delivered. The parts will be assembled off-line, and then finally the complete accelerator built in its final position.