****  ****   ****  *
*     *      *  *  *
****  ****   ****  *
   *     *   * *   *
****  ****   *  *  **** HEADLINES - a digital monthly publication

SSRL Headlines Vol. 1, No. 7  January, 2001

Contents of This Issue:

  1. SLAC to Provide Short-Term User Lodging Space
  2. Stanford Faculty Senate Meeting and Field Trip to SLAC
  3. Evaluation of Crystallogaphy Collaboratory Software Development
  4. SSRL Proposal Review Panel Meets for the 50th Time
  5. LCLS Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
  6. User Research Administration

1. SLAC to Provide Short-Term User Lodging Space
(contact: Keith Hodgson, hodgson@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

On January 31, SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan announced a new initiative to help accommodate the growing user community on site. A new building project is being directed toward providing a remedy for the lack of short-term lodging for users in the area. SLAC will be constructing a three-story user lodging building that will have 110 rooms and some common meeting areas. The project team is currently working on the final design and groundbreaking is scheduled for early summer (the location will be in the area currently occupied by the Training and Conference Center off to the left of the loop road as one comes from the SLAC Main Gate toward the entrance to the SSRL/SPEAR complex). We expect that once the construction is completed within about a year, there will be many benefits for all of our users at SLAC. We will keep you informed as plans develop and the project moves from planning to construction to becoming a reality.

2. Stanford Faculty Senate Meeting and Field Trip to SLAC
(contact: Amy Rutherford, amyr@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

On January 11, the Stanford Faculty Senate came to SLAC for an introduction to the facility, its programs and achievements and future directions. It was the first ever meeting of the Faculty Senate away from its normal venue on the main Stanford Campus. After SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan gave his report to the 35 faculty members and Senators in attendance, the group, which included Stanford President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy, was taken on a tour of the B Factory, PEP-II, BaBar and SSRL. On the SSRL part of the tour, several of SSRL's newest user research projects and beam lines were highlighted. One study illustrated how collecting data on soil from beneath leaking tanks at the Hanford nuclear storage site in Washington is aiding in risk assessment and the development of remediation strategies. Also in the area of environmental sciences, a group from the U.S. Geological Survey discussed ongoing studies of arsenic-contaminated drinking water in Bangladesh. In the area of structural molecular biology, the visitors learned about how structural information is revolutionizing the process of drug design and about the new horizon of structural genomics which will associate function with the large amount of sequence information coming from the genome projects. A Stanford Report article is available on the web.

3. Evaluation of Crystallography Collaboratory Software Development
(contact: Peter Kuhn, kuhn@stanford.edu)

A group of leading software developers from the synchrotron sources ESRF, APS, and Elettra visited SSRL during the week of January 15-19th in order to evaluate the design of the large scale Data Archive System being developed by at SSRL within the framework of the Collaboratory Testbed for Macromolecular Crystallography funded by the NIH-NCRR. The panel was first given a tour of the SSRL macromolecular crystallography beam lines and an overall introduction to the current status of SSRL. They were then presented with an overview of the evolution of the Collaboratory and its current status. The panel focussed on the current design for the Archive System and critically evaluated the proposal. The panel made comments and gave detailed recommendations for the Archive System design, focusing particularly on the issue of actual usefulness and likely utilization by the user community. In later sessions, each member in the advisory group presented aspects of their own work. These presentations included descriptions of ProDC, a protein crystallography data collection package developed at ESRF, and user management systems developed at BioCARS (APS) and the Virtual User Office at Elettra. The effort will contribute significantly to SSRL's progress on the Collaboratory.

4. SSRL Proposal Review Panel Meets for the 50th Time
(contact: Cathy Knotts, knotts@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

The SSRL Proposal Review Panel (PRP) held its 50th meeting on January 19-20, 2001. Over the entire 28 year life of the laboratory, the PRP has played a key role in that its proposal reviews provide the evaluation of all the beam time proposals and guide beam time allocation. The PRP considers new initiatives such as PRTs and also advises on future plans and developments. During the opening session on Friday morning, SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan welcomed the panel and emphasized the important role of the peer review process -- a cornerstone of the lab's open environment. When asked by PRP Chair Russ Chianelli (UTEP) what the panel could do for him, Dorfan replied "Keep the standards high." Keith Hodgson followed with an overview of the SSRL scientific program and strategic issues. Jo Stohr discussed the materials/nano science plans and initiative. Cathy Knotts, the Manager of the SSRL User Administration, gave a brief presentation on user operations. During the remainder of the meeting, the PRP subpanels reviewed 56 new proposals and considered a number of proposal extension requests. They further evaluated a proposal by an outside group for a new PRT and reviewed two new cooperative R&D agreements. An NIH NCRR SMB Advisory Committee Meeting was also held on Friday afternoon.

5. LCLS Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
(contact: Max Cornacchia, cornacchia@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Linac Coherent Light Source met at SLAC January 12-13. The LCLS team made presentations covering all aspects of the design, from the photo-injector to the FEL physics to the x-ray optics. Although the written report of the Committee has yet to be issued, the outcome of the meeting was quite positive. TAC expressed its satisfaction at the progress that has been made in all areas. The highlights of the presentations were the observed high gain, with evidence of saturation, at the LEUTL facility at the APS, and the computer modeling of both the electron beam from the gun to the end of the undulator and of the FEL radiation generated by such beam. The computer modelling work is the result of the constructive and close collaboration between Argonne National Laboratory, SLAC and the UCLA Particle Beam Physics Laboratory. The Committee expressed concern on the fact that the experimental results at the Gun Test Facility (GTF) have not yet progressed to the point where the achievement of the LCLS goals can be demonstrated or inferred. The Committee acknowledged that the SLAC Management has taken appropriate steps to increase its support of the GTF.

Some administrative changes to note: Art Toor (LLNL), leader of the LCLS x-ray optics effort, retired in early January. His position in the LCLS organization was taken over by Alan Wootton, also from LLNL.

6. User Research Administration
(contact: Cathy Knotts, knotts@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu)

  • Schedule Updates and Upcoming Deadlines
    The beam time notification/user support forms for the X-ray and VUV beam lines for the current 2001-02 scheduling period (February-April) were distributed earlier in January. These schedules can also be accessed through our website at:

    Macromolecular crystallography beam time assignments for March through May will be distributed and posted in early February.

    The call for X-ray and VUV beam time requests for the third scheduling period for the 2001 run will go out soon, and these will be due back to Cathy Knotts by February 23, 2001. This scheduling period covers May through the end of the experimental run.

  • California Power Crisis
    A number of users have inquired about the status of SSRL operations during the continuing California power crisis. We cannot guarantee that our operating schedule will not be impacted by rolling outages and requests to conserve, but so far in January, SLAC has been able to reduce its power consumption without impacting the operation of SPEAR and beam to SSRL users. We expect to be able to protect SPEAR operations at least through the first part of February. We hope that the aggressive measures being taken by the State will lead to a long-term solution, but should the situation change in the coming few weeks such that SPEAR operations are significantly threatened, we will let you know in the most timely manner possible.

  • Help After Regular Working Hours
    We would like to remind SSRL users that if they encounter any problems or difficulties after regular working hours, particularly as they relate to facilities or security at SSRL or more broadly on the SLAC site, to please contact the SSRL duty operator. The duty operator will try to help or will know whom to contact to provide after hours assistance.

  • SSRL Needs Your Input
    As mentioned in the December issue of Headlines, all SSRL users are encouraged to provide feedback on their SSRL experiences as well as any comments or suggestions regarding the current design or operation of the beam lines. This can be accomplished easily by completing the End-of-Run Summary Form immediately after your SSRL experiments and submitting them to the SSRL staff or via the web form.

We look forward to including more information on user activities and news in future editions of the SSRL Headline News, but to do so, we need your input. So please let us know if you have any news to share or ideas for future articles in SSRL Headlines. Your news can be in the form of abstracts, summarized research findings or presentations. Any other news that may be of interest to SSRL users such as important publications or other relevant scientific meetings would also be appreciated. These can be forwarded to Cathy Knotts or Lisa Dunn.

SSRL Headlines is published electronically monthly to inform SSRL users, sponsors and other interested people about happenings at SSRL. SSRL is a national synchrotron user facility operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Additional support for the structural biology program is provided by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, the NIH National Center for Research Resources and the NIH Institute for General Medical Sciences. Additional information about SSRL and its operation and schedules is available from the SSRL WWW site: http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/

You can subscribe or remove your name from the distribution list by sending a brief email with your request to Lisa Dunn, editor, at lisa@ssrl.slac.stanford.edu.


Last Updated: 30 NOV 2000
Content Owner: L. Dunn
Page Editor: L. Dunn