High-temperature superconducting (HTS) materials are a promising technology for high-field magnets in particle accelerators since they overcome the current limitations imposed by low-temperature superconductors (LTS) in terms of critical temperature and maximum fields. Due to their enhanced stability, coils based on HTS materials are less likely to quench than traditional superconducting coils based on LTS such as Nb-Ti or Nb3Sn. At the same time, a quench is harder to detect due to slow quench propagation, hence risking burn-out of the conductor. HTS coils therefore require a new approach to ensure safe and reliable operation, both in terms of quench detection and the subsequent quench protection measures.
In this research project, the protection of future HTS-based accelerator magnets is studied, focusing on alternative means for early detection of quenches other than voltage taps, and on possible methods for a timely discharge of the current. Achieving these goals requires the development of numerical tools that are appropriate for HTS-based magnets, in order to calculate the local current distribution in the conductor during the onset of a quench, and to subsequently simulate the 3D quench propagation throughout the coil. The simulation tools as well as the detection and protection methods are verified and validated on several HTS-based model coils.