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The Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) at CERN is the injector of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle collider. The High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) project is a major step forward in the improvement of the LHC performances and it requires a doubling of the nominal bunch intensity of the current LHC beam. In the SPS, multi-bunch instabilities and particle losses limit the beam intensity that can be accelerated to 450 GeV/c and transferred to the LHC. Without mitigation measures, the bunch intensity threshold for longitudinal instabilities is three times below the nominal intensity of the LHC beam. Moreover, the present limited RF power is not sufficient to accelerate beams with intensities well above nominal without substantial particle losses and a reduction of the RF voltage available for the beam at the flat top energy. The SPS will undergo significant upgrades but they may not be sufficient to ensure the stability of the HL-LHC beam. The objectives of this doctoral research are to study the longitudinal intensity limitations of the LHC proton beam in the SPS and to find possible mitigation measures to ensure the beam stability and quality at HL-LHC intensity. Beam measurements and particle simulations are used in conjunction with analytical estimations to study the multi-bunch instabilities during the cycle in the SPS. This work attempts to identify the main sources of instabilities and beam quality degradation. Possible scenarios of mitigation measures are investigated to explore the future beam parameters achievable after upgrades. The effects on beam stability of the foreseen RF upgrade, the double RF operation and the reduction of various longitudinal beam-coupling impedances are analysed in detail. The scenario of a lower-harmonic RF system in the SPS, for particle losses reduction, is also studied.