The National Synchrotron Radiation Centre SOLARIS will join the European Horizon 2020 project BEAmline for Tomography at SESAME (BEATS), which was launched with the objective to design, procure, construct and commission a beamline for hard X-ray full-field tomography at the SESAME synchrotron in Jordan. The grant is worth 6 million euros and will span a four-year period from beginning 2019 to end 2022.
Nine partner institutes from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus, Jordan and Poland will join forces to lay the groundwork for the efficient and sustainable operation of the SESAME research infrastructure. Through the development and consolidation of the scientific case for a beamline for tomography, and actions to fortify the scientific community, the partners will pay particular attention to the R&D and technology needs of the SESAME Members. Built upon the OPEN SESAME project, BEATS will address the issue of sustainability of operation by preparing medium- to long-term funding scenarios for the tomography beamline and the facility.
The launch of BEATS represents a new step on the way to beginning research at the first light-source laboratory in the Middle East. SESAME was established under the auspices of UNESCO before becoming a fully independent intergovernmental organisation in its own right in 2004. SESAME’s members are, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey. Its mission is to provide a world-class research facility for the region, while fostering international scientific cooperation. On January 2017, the first beam circulated in the pioneering SESAME synchrotron, paving the way for the research programme.
Two beamlines are presently installed at SESAME (XAFS/XRF and IR). One more beamline is being installed (Materials Science), and components for a fourth beamline for Macromolecular Crystallography are being procured. BEATS will contribute to developing the scientific case and the science community of the fifth beamline, dedicated to tomography. Today, there is significant interest from the cultural heritage and archaeology communities for a tomography beamline. The project will also explore applications in environmental and materials sciences with links to industries in the region served by the SESAME light source. X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a widely used method of obtaining non-destructive high resolution cross sectional views of objects. The high intensity and coherence of synchrotron X-rays allow for submicrometer resolution and 3D reconstruction of samples.