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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: March 15, 2002

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Agenda - Open Session (All Interested SSRL Users Invited)

10:30am Welcome/Identify "Walk-In Issues"/Update on SSRLUO EC Activities (Corwin Booth)
10:40am Representing SSRL Users Interests to Funding Sources (Paul Foster)
10:50amFeedback from Oct. 18-19, 2001 Users' Meeting and Plans for Oct. 7-9, 2002 Users' Meeting (Corwin Booth/Uwe Bergmann)
11:00amReport by the SSRLUO EC Subcommittee on Impact of SPEAR3 on SSRL Users (Corwin Booth)
11:10am SSRL Update (Keith Hodgson)
  • SPEAR3 Status (Construction, Funding)
  • Housing Update
11:30am SSRL Beam Line Development (Tom Rabedeau)
  • Status of new monochromators and other equipment installations
  • Schedule for BL Upgrades
11:50amQuestions and Discussion
12:10pmWalk-In Issues/Other Business


Welcome Remarks

  • Corwin Booth, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:30 am. No walk-in issues were identified.

Representing Users Interests to Funding Sources

  • Uwe Bergmann reported that he attended a meeting in DC on March 4-5 with representatives from the DOE and the 4 DOE supported SR facilities. Uwe reported that Pat Dehmer presented an early look at the budget and Pedro Montano discussed a shift in strategy to support increased funding for beam line support staff.
  • Keith Hodgson mentioned that DOE seemed to be moving towards the SSRL model, which has assigned staff to various beam lines but could benefit from more staff resources - particularly after SPEAR3 which will provide and require more complexity, more sophisticated optics, etc. Keith mentioned that the ESRF model of several scientists per beam line was the most efficient, and that SSRL would like to move towards the goal of at least 1 dedicated scientist per beam line.
  • Uwe requested additional information on the number of users accommodated and not accommodated, including a breakdown of users from industry and from each state. He reported that there may still be some opportunity to provide input for SR facilities, if done by early April. An important message would be support for the President's budget which included a line item for LCLS.
  • Uwe mentioned that an industry lobby group, ASTRA (Alliance for Science and Technology in America) gave a presentation on how they might work with SR users for increased visibility and support. This group has representatives in DC year long, and this might be a way to piggyback their efforts with light source activities, particularly as they relate to industry users who may already be members of ASTRA, such as IBM, Lucent, Chiron, etc. These industry users could be asked to work with ASTRA for the light sources. Uwe asked for SSRL's help in identifying exciting research and collecting data on the number of users accommodated and not accommodated due to oversubscribed beam lines.
  • Paul Foster emphasized the importance of users contacting their representatives to let them know how important this facility is to their research. Corwin and Uwe asked for a volunteer to follow up with personal contact to representatives and to users who may be encouraged to contact their respective representatives. Jane DeWitt volunteered to lead this effort. SSRL agreed to provide a list of appropriations committee members and users from states represented by people on the appropriations committee. It was reiterated that the message could be as simple as asking for support for the President's budget.
  • Another visit to DC by the SR representatives has been scheduled for April 17-18. Corwin and Uwe plan to participate.
  • Keith gave a general overview of SSRL activities, including an update on the user lodging facility, west area beam line enclosure (added 6,000 sf of ground floor space for additional beam lines), LCLS ($6 M line item in President's budget for LCLS project engineering and design). Using existing infrastructure, SPPS is a new opportunity for short pulse picosecond studies which could begin as early as November/December. Although this is not a general user facility, Keith would appreciate hearing from users who have interest and expertise in this area to possibly help with diagnostics and commissioning.

Impact of SPEAR3 on SSRL Users

  • Corwin started the discussion by noting that the shutdown is quickly approaching and that a primary concern of the EC was to ensure that users were informed about the potential impact. A questionnaire was developed and circulated to users in late February; 24 responses were received. These were tabulated and distributed at the meeting (15 were from XAS users; 9 from crystallography users). The results of this survey as well as a casual poll of users as they check in indicates that most users are now aware of the shutdown and that they are making alternate arrangements from April 2003-January 2004.
  • In order to assist users, Piero Pianetta, Britt Hedman, and others will work on developing a list of beam lines at other facilities that are comparable to SSRL beam lines.
  • Uwe asked about the possibility of sending staff and equipment to other facilities during the shutdown to support SSRL users, which when it was done in the past was viewed as a significant benefit that was very much appreciated by users.
  • Keith mentioned that he had recently had a meeting with the directors of APS, NSLS, and ALS. All agreed in principle to the idea of assisting SSRL users, but added that proposals and scheduling are handled differently at other facilities and not centrally as at SSRL. In the past, SSRL worked out some arrangements with other facilities to honor SSRL proposals for a specific amount of beam time on specific beam lines. SSRL also sent equipment and staff to set up and support SSRL users during those times. A key component for these exchanges was that there was available time on these other beam lines and that regular users of these other facilities were not displaced.
  • Keith noted that sending some equipment would be straightforward (e.g., cryostat) but that some equipment required significant overhead to set up and one had to evaluate the potential damage risk in transporting sensitive equipment back and forth. This may only be practical if significant amounts of contiguous beam time were allotted at other facilities.
  • A question was raised about what special circumstances might arise that would warrant priority status for beam time during this period. The group agreed that graduate students who need to complete thesis should be given priority.
  • Tom Rabedeau reported that new SPEAR3 compatible LN monochromators had already been installed on BL's 11-2, 9-3, 10-2. The new mono for BL6-2 is scheduled for installation in April; however, due to procurement and shipping issues, multilayers will not be available until the Fall.
  • Tom reported that significant concrete shielding work for the SPEAR tunnel was scheduled in June and that this would close BL5 early (BL5-2/3 not available after 6/3; BL5-4 not available after 6/17). Due to the installation of a new monochromator in the Fall, BL5-2 will not be available for users until after SPEAR3 (except for the possibility of commissioning).
  • A priority of the beam line development group is to have all front ends 500 mA compatible when SPEAR3 turns on. Front ends include isolation valves and all other components related to isolating radiation and vacuum from the SPEAR storage ring. Another goal is to have the insertion device beam lines 500 mA compatible as quickly as possible; consequently, BL5, BL6, BL9, BL10, and BL11 are scheduled to be ready in January 2004, when user commissioning and operations are expected to resume. We anticipate that BL7 will be 500 mA compatible around June 2004. BL4 will still require extensive work and resources, so this beam line may not be 500 mA compatible until 2006. In the interim, we plan to accommodate the small angle scattering users on BL6-2. Bending magnet beam lines (BL1, BL2, BL3, and BL8) will require additional work to be fully compatible with SPEAR3. All of these activities are resource driven, so these plans could be accelerated or delayed depending on the availability of funding.
  • Corwin raised concern about the plans for BL4 and BL2, and the potential impact of spillover on other beam lines.
  • Tom reported that SSRL is pursuing technical options that will allow us to operate these beam lines prior to their SPEAR3 upgrade.
  • Tom also reported that there may be an opportunity to expedite this schedule with parallel fabrication, if, for example, an additional $500K were received in each of the next 5 years, the schedule to complete BL4 could be shortened by 1 year.
  • A suggestion was made to get this message to the users and to the DOE (Pat Dehmer and Pedro Montano).


  • All attendees except the SSRLUO-EC members left the meeting when the closed session was announced. There were no closed session agenda items, but there was a brief conversation on how to effectively follow up on the issues discussed at todays meeting.
  • Feedback and ideas for the next users meeting, which has been scheduled on October 7-8, were also discussed. Uwe Bergmann and John Pople will co-chair this meeting. There will also be a SLAC 40th anniversary celebration scheduled around the same time (tentatively scheduled on 10/8/02 or 10/09/02 depending on the availability of key speakers).
  • Corwin and Uwe suggested scheduling meetings within the next 2 weeks to follow up on SPEAR3 impact, the next users' meeting, and funding issues. ACTION: Cathy Knotts arranged 2 meetings on March 25th. A meeting with Keith to discuss funding will be scheduled shortly.
  • The meeting adjourned at approximately 12:30 pm.

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