Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Tian-Bing Xu

Committee Member

Thomas Alberts

Committee Member

Drew Landman

Committee Member

Geoffrey Krafft


The Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory (JLab) is a particle accelerator which can accelerate an electron beam to relativistic speeds and apply the beam onto target samples. The C100 superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavity is the primary accelerating structure of the C100 cryomodule, one of the many cryomodules which compose the CEBAF linear accelerator. SRF cavities are particularly sensitive to internal and external vibrations that can result in a phenomenon called microphonics which degrade the operational stability of a cryomodule.

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the significance of mechanical disturbances on the electromagnetic resonant frequency of a C100 SRF cavity. Knowledge of the mechanical resonance of the cavities and cryomodule sheds light into how these disturbances are most easily realized as deformation which causes radio frequency (RF) detuning. Three studies were conducted: the development and hammer test calibration of a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model of a C100 cavity, the development and hammer test calibration of an FEA model of a C100 cavity string, and the hammer test of the C100-10R cryomodule at the Cryomodule Test Facility (CMTF).

The cavity FEA model was found to accurately predict two modes found in two real cavities in a simply supported configuration. The cavity string FEA model leveraged the calibrated cavity FEA model but was not found to accurately predict the modal behavior of a real cavity string. Even so, the modal behavior of the cavity string inside the C100-10R cryomodule was captured during a hammer test while it was partially assembled.

Finally, the C100-10R cryomodule was placed in the CMTF to study RF detuning. The RF detuning spectra during hammer hits and background noise was captured. The results of the hammer testing indicate two strong peaks at low frequencies (9-10 Hz and 22-23 Hz). These two frequencies were found to be nearly coincident to four instances of mechanical resonance found during the hammer testing done on the partially-assembled C100-10R. Because of this, these two modes are believed to contribute to RF detuning of the cryomodule. This test event also included the testing of the effectiveness of a configuration of BNNT canisters designed to act as dampers. While these tests show promising results, the lurking variables render these tests somewhat inconclusive.


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