Compact Proton Linac for Pet Isotope Production

Period of Performance: 09/30/1997 - 08/31/1998


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Linac Systems
1208 Marigold Drive, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87122
Principal Investigator


The thrust of this program is the development of small, economical, proton linacs for commercial applications. Principal medical applications include the production of short-lived radioisotopes for PET, epithermal neutrons for BNCT, and accelerated protons for injection into the proton synchrotrons required for proton therapy. Principal innovations lie in the development of the revolutionary new Rf-Focused Drift tube (RFD) linac structure. Proposed research includes theoretical analyses, experimental evaluations, and operational tests of this new structure. A significant part of the program involves the design, fabrication, and test of a "Proof- of-Principle" prototype. Benefits of developing small, economical, and transportable sources of accelerated ions and associated radiation include promotion of processes requiring these forms of radiation, development of materials using these processes, development of products using these materials, and stimulation of high-technology business in this country. Wider availability of these processes, materials, and products will increase the standard of living in this country and abroad. They present significant business opportunities for both domestic and foreign trade. The processes will result in safer airplanes, better medical diagnostics, better cancer therapy, improved mineral exploration, stronger composite materials, and safer nuclear power. Beneficiaries will include airplane passengers, farmers, soldiers in the field, and cancer victims. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The commercial potential of this research comes through utilization of the new firmly of compact linacs, developed under this program, to support a wide variety of medical, industrial, agricultural, scientific, and military applications. The principal medical application is the production of short-lived radioisotopes for PET. Other important medical applications include the production of epithermal neutron beams for BNCT and injector linacs for the proton synchrotrons required for proton therapy.