2010 Executive Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2010

Election. SSRL UEC Election results were announced:

  • Bio Spectroscopy/Bio SAXS Representative: Serena DeBeer
  • Environmental/Geosciences Representative: Sarah Hayes

Industry. There was a discussion about our relationship with industry (currently about 7% of our user community is from industry). DOE is clearly interested in encouraging industry users and showing an impact on industry from the lightsource facilities. The most important thing is good science, so we should identify the right areas and work to attract industry users. Questions to consider include: Where's the opportunity for impact for SSRL? Are there potential barriers to industry users? Should we add an industry representative to the UEC. ACTION: Discuss at next UEC meeting. Amend UEC charter to include industry representative for the next election.

Planning. SSRL Director Chi-Chang Kao summarized his plans and future directions for SSRL during his plenary session presentation at the annual meeting, see talk posted at http://www- conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl-lcls/2010/pdfs/2010_SSRL_Users_Meeting_Kao.pdf

There will be an SSRL Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting in January 2011, and the topics to be discussed are similar to those in his annual meeting talk. C.‐C. Kao, P. Pianetta and B. Hedman are working on reorganizing SSRL and developing a long-range strategic plan to meet SSRL 's future needs. They are considering questions such as which beam lines should we build out? How much will that cost? We need feedback from the UEC representing the larger communities to help in the planning process. ACTION: User input requested. C.C. Kao plans to hold frequent (monthly?) conference calls with the UEC chair and UEC members to solicit input and facilitate an ongoing dialog.

User feedback through end of run summaries, periodic surveys or other communication is important to help us understand issues facing users and to complete yearly reports for DOE. It is important for SSRL management to have broad data about users, beam lines, techniques, opportunities, etc. so that we can expand in areas where we have a strong response from users. There may be additional opportunities related to LCLS and additional infrastructure investments that could help both programs, e.g., time resolved, getting laser spots to match, etc.

The users organization could help devise the questions for a user survey. What topics should be covered in the survey? What are the typical issues raised by users? How can we can encourage and facilitate interaction between SSRL and LCLS users? Is there a better way to collect information? It was suggested to add a 'User Feedback/Contact Us' feature on the SSRL website where any user could submit comments, questions or suggestions; this would be in addition to the end of the run summary.   ACTION: Develop and distribute user survey. Add 'Contact Us' link on SSRL website.

Workshops: Feedback from the user community helps define the types of workshops to hold during the year and in conjunction with the annual conference. It was suggested that workshops be arranged throughout the year if we are going to invest in new capabilities or instruments. Some users expressed interest in applying for an NFS grant to host a series of scientific meetings. It would be good to have more representation from the user community to share information and broaden scientific interactions. Joint activities and workshops with LCLS are valuable, but overlapping schedules make it difficult forusers to attend concurrent workshops. ACTION: Users asked to provide input into types of workshop desired and to help organize relevant workshops.

User Support: The SSRL Floor Coordinator (duty operator) is the first line of support to users, and rotating program managers are on call until 10:00pm at night if users need help while conducting experiments at SSRL. Additional support is frequently needed after regular working hours and weekends, for example to help with locked up motors. Some creative users will walk around and ask for help from other more experienced users on other beam lines when the duty operator can't help. ACTION: Discuss how evening/weekend user support might be improved

March 02, 2010

Attending:  Beth Wurzburg, Leslie Jimison, Cathy Knotts, Lisa Dunn, Joe Kline, Robert Szilagyi, Matt Sazinsky, David Singer, Junko Yano, Wayne Lukens, Benjamin Gilbert, Katherine Kantardjieff, Tom Rabedeau, Piero Pianetta

Cathy Knotts started the meeting for Katherine Kantardjieff with a welcome to the newly elected members.  One of the first action items for the committee each year is to nominate and elect a vice-chair.  Once elected the vice-chairs of both the SSRLUEC and LCLSUEC work with staff scientists to chair the next Users' Meeting (October 18-21).  Beth Wurzburg has been nominated and the committee will vote via email/web ballot to Cathy or Katherine.

All committee members were encouraged to think about possible speakers and topics for the Users' Meeting.

SSRL Organization Update

Piero Pianetta has been serving as the acting director of SSRL since Jo Stohr accepted the position of director of the LCLS.  Ingolf Lindau is chairing the search committee for SSRL's new director.  If not already done, a shortlist will be presented to SLAC Director Persis Drell fairly soon. 

User Survey:

Wayne Lukens mentioned that a question regarding pump probe experiments would be more on the mark than one about laser driven heating.  He also mentioned that he had done mostly qualitative analysis more than trending.  He added that inviting feedback on the user portal would be a useful addition to the survey.

Cathy Knotts mentioned that another programmer will be hired to help with the user portal effort and that the next big introduction for SSRL users will be web-based proposal submission.

On the topic of changing the date of the SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting.  Robert Szilagyi suggested August as a possibility.  Katherine Kantardjieff pointed out that there'd be a lot of competition with several large international meetings. Perhaps give the general user community a limited choice of alternative months to consider in the survey?

Robert Szilagyi will look back through surveys from past years to see if some continuity can be maintained to make trend analysis possible and asked if someone with statistical skills would like to take a crack at it.

Action item for Committee:  Go through last year's survey to see if the questions are still relevant.    The survey can be hosted through Survey Monkey or some variation thereof, but we cannot get help from SLAC InfoMedia to launch it this year.  Survey should come out later this year and will be announce in the newsletter.

Updates on Frequent Fill, Higher Current and BL Development from T. Rabedeau:

We now have DOE authorization to run beam line operations at 200 mA with approval to run to 500 mA anticipated by summer. RP will be conducting extensive radiation surveys as we ramp up in current first to 350 mA and nearer to 500 mA later on.  

A lot of work has been done on frequent fill and top off.  These projects turned out to be longer than originally anticipated for both ALS & SSRL with much of the effort spent in sufficiently proving the case (beam line by beam line) that enough safeguards are in place to prevent injecting electrons down a beam line.

Staff recently participated in an every 5 minute top-off fill schedule to see if the fills would be reasonably transparent to experiments being conducting on 17 lines. All reported no degradation and some reporting some improvement to the quality of data.  Another frequent fill test will be conducted during an upcoming accelerator physics period with some more challenging experiments planned and including tests on BLs 12 & 13.  If the overall results are still positive, frequent fill will be implemented during user operations, initially every 10 minutes with 1.5 mA from peak-to-valley. 

350 mA tests last fall with BLs 6, 9 and 12 open seemed to go well, but BL9-2 opened up a water leak to vacuum the next morning that.  There was no possibility that the graphite filter was struck by beam, but it turned out to be H20 erosion of a copper tube.  Since then a careful review of all beam lines and flow rates has been conducted with adjustments made to flow rates if needed.

We are already authorized to run up to 500 mA with beam lines open when users and staff have been cleared from the experimental floor.  Once the 10-minute frequent fill schedule has been implemented we will start pushing up the current during AP periods initially. We do not anticipate going as high as 500 mA this run except possibly during the last week or to of the FY2010 run which ends July 26.

A couple of questions may be added to the user survey to address user experience with frequent fill and higher current and the possible effect on the quality of their data.

More details for frequent fill/higher current implementation and preliminary results will be written up for SSRL's newsletter.

BL14-1 is now in the operating mode.  BL14-3 has proved challenging in the optics area. It's ready to go except that the aggressive energy range for the mono (2050 eV- 5 KeV) requires a modification to SSRL's standard mono design.  Channel dimensions between the 1st and 2nd crystals have to vary. A prototype is currently in machining.  If it works out, it will add about 2 months until the installation of the optics and user commissioning commence.

The DOE has funded a major upgrade for a new EPU on BL5.

An advanced spectrometer for raman scattering on BL6 has received ARIM funding.  

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