New Capabilities of the FLUKA Multi-Purpose Code
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FLUKAMonte Carlo transportBeam-matter interactionHigh energy physicsCrystal channelingMedical physicsSingle event effects (SEE)
Ahdida C... [et al.]. (2022) New Capabilities of the FLUKA Multi- Purpose Code. Front. Phys. 9:788253. doi: [10.3389/fphy.2021.788253]
FLUKA is a general purpose Monte Carlo code able to describe the transport and interaction of any particle and nucleus type in complex geometries over an energy range extending from thermal neutrons to ultrarelativistic hadron collisions. It has many different applications in accelerator design, detector studies, dosimetry, radiation protection, medical physics, and space research. In 2019, CERN and INFN, as FLUKA copyright holders, together decided to end their formal collaboration framework, allowing them henceforth to pursue different pathways aimed at meeting the evolving requirements of the FLUKA user community, and at ensuring the long term sustainability of the code. To this end, CERN set up the FLUKA.CERN Collaboration1. This paper illustrates the physics processes that have been newly released or are currently implemented in the code distributed by the FLUKA.CERN Collaboration2 under new licensing conditions that are meant to further facilitate access to the code, as well as intercomparisons. The description of coherent effects experienced by high energy hadron beams in crystal devices, relevant to promising beam manipulation techniques, and the charged particle tracking in vacuum regions subject to an electric field, overcoming a former lack, have already been made available to the users. Other features, namely the different kinds of low energy deuteron interactions as well as the synchrotron radiation emission in the course of charged particle transport in vacuum regions subject to magnetic fields, are currently undergoing systematic testing and benchmarking prior to release. FLUKA is widely used to evaluate radiobiological effects, with the powerful support of the Flair graphical interface, whose new generation (Available at http://flair.cern) offers now additional capabilities, e.g., advanced 3D visualization with photorealistic rendering and support for industry-standard volume visualization of medical phantoms. FLUKA has also been playing an extensive role in the characterization of radiation environments in which electronics operate. In parallel, it has been used to evaluate the response of electronics to a variety of conditions not included in radiation testing guidelines and standards for space and accelerators, and not accessible through conventional ground level testing. Instructive results have been obtained from Single Event Effects (SEE) simulations and benchmarks, when possible, for various radiation types and energies. The code has reached a high level of maturity, from which the FLUKA.CERN Collaboration is planning a substantial evolution of its present architecture. Moving towards a modern programming language allows to overcome fundamental constraints that limited development options. Our long term goal, in addition to improving and extending its physics performances with even more rigorous scientific oversight, is to modernize its structure to integrate independent contributions more easily and to formalize quality assurance through state-of-the-art software deployment techniques. This includes a continuous integration pipeline to automatically validate the codebase as well as automatic processing and analysis of a tailored physics-case test suite. With regard to the aforementioned objectives, several paths are currently envisaged, like finding synergies with Geant4, both at the core structure and interface level, this way offering the user the possibility to run with the same input different Monte Carlo codes and crosscheck the results.