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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: December 7, 1998

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Previous SSRLUO Minutes

Attendees: P. Allen, S. Barrett, B. Clemens, P. Foster, B. Rupp, R. Scott, T. Trainor, J. Wong

Absent: J. Bilello, D. McKay, S. Traina, D. Salt

Director’s Presentation (K. Hodgson)

Hodgson gave a detailed update on SSRL operations and developments since the last meeting, the linac coherent light source (LCLS), the status of the search for a new SLAC director, and the future of beamli ne 4-2.

SPEAR3: The Lehman review of technical, cost and schedule aspects of SPEAR3 was accomplished in July. Closeout comments were extremely positive overall. This was the final review hurdle for the project. DOE HQ still needs to define a funding strategy for SPEAR3. Funding is anticipated at $2.8M - $3.5M. Design and specification work should be completed in FY99 with construction beginning in FY00.

NIH is interested in expanding its financial commitmen t to synchrotron radiation through facility upgrades and the construction of new beamlines. NIH is primarily focused on protein crystallography research at this time. They anticipate investing approximately $4M in the six U.S. SR facilities during FY99 with continued support in future years. NIH is interested in helping fund the recommendations made by the Birgeneau/Shen BESAC panel which includes SPEAR3. Additional NIH funding co uld mean a FY99 construction start but will not impact the original SPEAR3 April ’02 installation schedule. Additional funds may also allow SSRL to replace the old RF cavities and permit us to operate at higher than 200 mA (up to 500 mA).

New Faculty: Martin Greven has joined the SSRL staff with a joint appointment with the applied physics department at Stanford. A recommendation has been made to the provost in regards to a senior faculty member in materials science. Three candidates have been identified to interview for the junior faculty position in protein crystallography.

Linac Coherent Light Source: A brief overview of the project was presented for the benefit of the newly elected committee members. A more detailed presentation will be held at the next meeting. The project is a collaboration with LLNL, LANL, BNL, UCLA, APS and SLAC. SSRL is working on the CDR and hopes to have it complete in the next 18 months. A project start in ’02 is anticipated. A LCLS workshop will be held in January. A BESAC subpanel will meet in January to consider proposed 4th generation light sources like the LCLS, tabletop lasers and short pulse xrays and make a funding recommendation to BES.

SLAC Director: After serving as director for fifteen years, Burt Richter will retire in August 1999. A target of opportu nity search is underway. SSRLUO-EC members were encouraged to contact the search committee chair, Charles Kruger, if they had any opinions to share on the search.

Beamline 4-2: A tandem hutch design on BL 4-2 allows both small angle scattering/diffraction and XAS to be performed on this beamline. There is competing demand for the beamline by SAXS/D users, GIXAS users, and environmental science XAS users. Presently, BL 4-2 is scheduled according to proposal ratings w hich generally permits 50% of the time to be used by SAXS/D. SAXS/D users feel it would be most efficient to have BL 4-2 become a dedicated SAXS/D beamline to reduce the large number of shifts needed to setup the beamline between XAS and SAXS/D users. BL 11-2 is being constructed primarily for actinide/environmental research so a portion of the BL 4-2 users will eventually migrate to the new beamline. Diffraction actinide research will remain on BL 7-2. The transition of BL 4-2 to a dedicated station could be an opportunity for NIH support and staffing. There is only one other beamline optimized for SAXS/D at APS. The timeframe for any transition would by in FY’00 after BL 11-2 came online. Future deliberations must consider efficiency as well as flexibility. A possible compromise among the user groups would be to extend the BL 4-2 hutch to accommodate all of the SAXS/D equipment so that shifts now used for setup and tear down would be eliminated. The committee was asked to consider the range of alternatives.

SPEAR3 UPDATE: (T. Elioff)

Four of six technical consultants on the Lehman review panel have recommended that SSRL replace the present SPEAR concrete girders for SPEAR3. Elioff presented a series of girder options that have been considered. The decision has been made to proceed with 18 steel girders rather than concrete girders. The magnets will be preinstalled on the girders. The girders will rest on the present foundation. While this option will cost more initially it will save time in the long run, which will save money. China may be supplying the new magnets.

COMPUTER FTP Status: (M. George)

M. George provided a brief history and status of the file transfer protocol (FTP) disruption.

Due to a break-in to the SLAC computers in June '98 SLAC Computer Services (SCS) some services such as FTP to and from SSRL were suspended. After many long discussions, SCS agreed to open FTP server access to SSRL (2100 Alpha Server) for open VMS data acquisition computers. However, UNIX data acquisition and analysis computers (apart from one machine) have not yet been reconnected. Currently, crystallography users must (a) ensure that all data is transferred to their home institution before they leave SSRL or (b) TELNET to the SSRL computer in question, and connect to their home institution using FTP and transfer. SSRL believes this is inconvenient and still not secure, as there is double exposure of passwords. SSRL is co ntinuing discussion with SCS.


New Beamlines:

  • BL 2-1: Powder diffraction beamline has been operational for general users since March '98
  • BL 3-1: LIGA beamline funded by Sandia National Lab and the Jet Propulsion Lab will be installed this Fall
  • BL 5-4: High resolution photoemission beamline has been operational since January, 1998.
  • BL 9-1: Protein crystallography beamline has been in general user operations since April, 1997.
  • BL 9-2: Protein crystallography beamline is in commissioning.
  • BL 9-3: Structural molecular biology/XAS beamline is in user commissioning.
  • BL 11-1: Protein crystallography PRT beamline between SSRL, Stanford and Scripps

- Optics similar to BL 9-1 with modest performance improvement

- Hutch fabrication underway

- Anticipate light Fall, 1999.

  • BL 11-2: Molecula r Environmental Science/XAS beamline

- The first SSRL beamline with LN2 cooled monochromator

- The M0 mirror arrived two months early and the M1 mirror is due

- Crystal delivery in March / Mono installation start in April

- Side-by-side crystal pairs facilitate rapid crystal changes (two Si(220) cuts)

  • Miscellaneous:

- New 1.2m mirrors for BL 6-2 and 10-2 expected in summer '99

- New mirror orde red for BL 3-3

- All the double crystal monochromators have been upgraded with 5-phase motors

- Hutch for the BL 7-2 high field magnet facility anticipated to be operational in early spring.


  • Ian Evans was invited to meet with the committee and explain the SSRL policy regarding SR keys. There is one key per hutch. The key stays with the user (rather than mounted outside the hutch) so no one else can interfere with your experiment. A committee member asked why the key couldn't be left in the lock while a responsible person was in the hutch area. Evans responded that leaving the key in the lock equates to hutch buttons and SSRL doesn't believe this allows us 100% accountability. The key can be passed among various group members that are listed on the safety checklist as long as the transfer is noted in the logbook. There was a brief discussion on the kirk lock (or captive) k ey mounted outside the hutch. SSRL is working on a solution for hutch access during power outages. An uninterruptable power supply (UPS) backup has been proposed which will allow users to remove the key from the HPS chassis and access the hutch.
  • Bruce Clemens was nominated and graciously accepted the role of vice-chair for the FY99 season.
  • Pat Allen reviewed the highlights of his presentation to the SLAC Science Policy Committee in November. He also summarize d his understanding of the goals of the Committee on Materials Facilities charged with developing a federal materials facilities strategy sponsored by the NRC and National Academy of Sciences. The committee held their second meeting in Irvine, CA in November and invited Pat to speak on behalf of the SSRL user community. Steve Dierker of the U. of Michigan was asked to speak on behalf o f the APS user community. Also in attendance were all the directors of synchrotron radiation and neutron facilities. The committee was interested in the beamtime allocation process, as well as duplication of effort is the proposal submission process among the various labs.
  • The committee then discussed the various alternatives Hodgson proposed regarding dedicating BL 4-2 scheduling to SAXS. The committee felt that this would be too restrictive in scheduling other experime nts such as grazing incidence MES and actinide XAS. One key issue that would adversely affect actinide and MES experimenters is: The statistics show that if all actinide XAS research was restricted to BL 11-2, that MES and/or actinide XAS research would suffer due to limited beamtime availability. The statistics from Suzanne also show that SAXS requests for 4-2 currently could not full subscribe a dedicated 4-2 SAXS station. The committee believes that we need to wait and monit or these statistical patterns outlined above. In the interim, they endorsed extending the BL 4-2 hutch as the most flexible option and felt that NIH funding could be used for this purpose since it would also benefit the SAXS users. On the related issue of allowing actinide XAS on 4-3, 4-2, or 4-1 in order to facilitate and complement scheduling of both actinide and MES XAS on 11-2, they would like to have at least one of the BLs 4-x kept available for actinide XAS. Some of these opt ions were discussed by the BL 11 steering committee later in the week.
  • Regarding FTP of files to and from SSRL, the committee liked the web-based solution briefly mentioned by M. George but would need more details. They don't see the FTP access as a security issue but more of a common sense issue in the proper use of unencrypted passwords through the web.
  • P. Allen agreed to draft a memo to Pat Dehmer of DOE endorsing the SPEAR3 project as it was presented to the committee today.

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