Short Innovative Bunches and Accelerators at DESY


The Helmholtz Association has set up an ARD (Accelerator Research & Development) programme across six accelerator laboratories in Germany, providing sustained funding for project-independent accelerator research. According to this mission, DESY is currently in the process of setting up the central, long-term dedicated accelerator research facility “SINBAD” in the very center of the DESY-Hamburg campus (Building 30, ground floor see map) in the former DORIS facilities.

This area will provide the necessary space for multiple independent experiments accessing a common infrastructure. SINBAD will provide a future-proof home to the ARD efforts at DESY while providing sufficient room for developing the setup into one of the two flagship projects of ATHENA, the Helmholtz collaboration of Laser Plasma-Acceleration for large infrastructure investments.

SINBAD will initially host two main, independent experiments: ARES & AXSIS.

Illustration of the ≈300 m long, >5m wide, race-track shaped shielding tunnel and the adjacent infrastructure halls. LUX and ANGUS and several extensions are part of the future ATHENA project.


At the core of the ARES (Accelerator Research Experiment at SINBAD) experimental area, a conventional S-band electron linac will accelerate ultra-short electron bunches to 100MeV with an RMS arrival time jitter of less than 10fs. While the design is optimized for low-charge (pC) ultra-short (sub/single fs), the bunch charges with several tens of pC can also be accelerated at the cost of longer bunch duration. More information on ARES can be found here.

Once this goal is achieved, the accelerated electron bunches will be injected into advanced acceleration structures like dielectric structures or plasma cells. Once operational, SINBAD is, for example, one of the designated test-sites of the “ACHIP - Accelerator on a Chip” project, funded by the Moore Foundation. At the same time SINBAD can serve as a test bed for developments relevant for other DESY projects like FLASH and the European XFEL.

Currently the infrastructure is being installed and individual components ordered. The first beam from the RF-gun is expected by the end of 2019, the first beam from the linac by spring 2020.

SINBAD is a DESY project but external access to SINBAD is possible via collaborations or the ARIES transnational access programme.

ARIES Transnational Access 

The ARIES project offers transnational access to 14 different testing facilities across Europe. From 2019 onwards, the SINBAD facility will be accessible for international user groups. For more information on the ARIES Transnational Access click here.       


As a second initial experiment, SINBAD will also host the AXSIS experiment which is a collaborative effort of DESY, CFEL and the Arizona state university funded by an ERC synergy grant. It aims to set up a ultra-compact light source based on electron acceleration by  a THz-laser in a dielectric loaded waveguide and subsequent inverse Compton scattering.

More information can be found here.



In case of further questions around the Sinbad project, please contact Florian Burkart.