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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: May 9, 2002 10 am - 12 noon

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Previous SSRLUO Minutes

Agenda - Open Session (All Interested SSRL Users Invited)

  • SSRL Update (Keith Hodgson)
  • Follow up on SPEAR3 shutdown/impact on users (Britt Hedman)
  • Feedback from April 17-18 meetings in DC with SR user representatives (Corwin Booth)
  • 29th Annual User Meeting Plans (Oct 7-8, 2002) (Uwe Bergmann, John Pople)
  • Review SSRLUO-EC Membership/Solicit Nominations for upcoming election (Corwin Booth)
  • Annual Lytle Award Nomination Process (Corwin Booth)

Welcome Remarks

  • Corwin Booth, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:00 am. No walk-in issues were identified.

SSRL Update

  • Keith Hodgson thanked the SSRLUO-EC for their efforts to increase awareness about the importance of synchrotron science and for conveying their enthusiasm for SSRL in particular. Feedback from the recent meetings in DC was very positive.
  • In April, the LCLS program had a successful review by the DOE. This major construction project has progressed from the R&D phase for the last 3 years to the preconstruction phase. The project engineering design phase (2003-2005) involves detailed cost schedules and advance procurements, with total costs estimated at approximately $270 million. Construction is projected in 2007, with the completion of the experimental hall and commissioning in 2008. As this project develops, Keith asked for EC input into how best to incorporate LCLS activities into the current users' organization. Although a specific user community does not exist at present, this is a growing area which will be at the forefront in the near future.
  • Keith visited the Photon Factory in Japan and started discussions for SAS users. ACTION: Keith will continue negotiations for SAS users to utilize the Photon Factory during the SPEAR3 shutdown.
  • SSRL activities were presented recently to the SLAC Science Policy Committee (SPC). SPEAR3 plans are 60% complete and on budget. There is a potential issue with the production of the vacuum system. There are 3 major components to this system; BM2 is in prototype but not production, which puts this about 1 month behind schedule. Two vendors had difficulty delivering the RF system on time, so the klystron is being built internally instead. There is significant scheduling contingency in place, and problems are not anticipated, but everyone should be aware of these potential issues and concerns. SSRL is currently working on a detailed installation schedule. ACTION: We expect to have an installation schedule ready for external review in July/August.

SPEAR3 User Issues

  • Britt Hedman reiterated the priority to have front ends 500mA capable. Unless additional funding is made available BL4 is scheduled to be completed in 2006. With an additional $500K/year for the next several years, this schedule could be accelerated by 1 year. Insertion devices for BL4/7 have been ordered; 1 was delivered, and the other is being shipped. Because of the design of BL4, BL4-2 could be opened before BL4-1 and 4-3 which are expected to take longer. Erik Nelson asked about accommodating actinide users on BL11-2 if BL4-3 is down for an extended period. Britt responded that this will be dependent on availability, ratings, and other scheduling factors.
  • The task force is investigating scenarios to utilize BL8-1 and 2-3 in the interim until these BL's are SPEAR3 compatible. BL8-2 is more difficult. BL5 will be upgraded over the summer shutdown and will provide additional SPEAR3-ready capacity after January 2004.
  • Upgraded instrumentation as part of ongoing beam line development activities has (and will) create some parts which may be utilized on other beam lines. For example, the old BL6-2 mono may be moved to BL3-3, pending radiation safety calculations and extra shielding/enclosures that may be required. Other equipment from BL7-3 (goniometer), 10-2, 6-2, 4-2 may be utilized elsewhere. SSRL is still investigating how best to utilize existing equipment in order to get the most beam lines equipped and ready for users.
  • Britt mentioned that users may be able to run very dilute and more concentrated XAS samples simultaneously. This idea will be investigated, and may only work in large hutches and require additional electronics, software, control systems.
  • Uwe asked about the possibility of running 100mA BL's during some of the interim time until all BL's are 500mA capable. One suggestion was to open shutters for low current users before the next scheduled fill (1-2 am?) with filters in front of first optical elements for some BL's. ACTION: While the goal is clearly to get all BL's to 500mA as quickly as possible, Britt mentioned that the option of running some BL's at 100mA or 200mA will be investigated.
  • Shielding and heat loads are also issues that need to be investigated. ACTION: SSRL is working with SLAC health physicists, however, that team is currently short staffed so we are investigating other scenarios where, if the SLAC ES&H Division accepts the approach, we might bring in outside expertise for radiation calculations and work with SLAC for certification.
  • In response to a request from users, SSRL drafted and distributed at the meeting a table of SSRL beam lines, techniques and contact person per beam line, status of the beam line after SPEAR3 (January 2004), and information on other facilities where similar research may be conducted. Sensitivities associated with this list were discussed. It is impossible to make this list 100% up to date or inclusive as facilities periodically add or change instrumentation, flux, etc., and BL's at other facilities may not be exactly comparable to SSRL facilities. ACTION: The table was revised to reflect the discussions and posted to the SSRL SPEAR3 website. Feedback and input from uses in maintaining this list is encouraged. See: http://www- (requires Acrobat reader 4.0 or higher) or (rich text document).

EC Update

  • Corwin Booth mentioned that he and Uwe had recently met with Britt Hedman, Piero Pianetta, and Cathy Knotts regarding SPEAR3 issues as a follow up to the March EC meeting.
  • A letter on behalf of the EC has been sent to the DOE to request changes to the funding profile in order to add funds for bend magnet BL's as discussed by Britt in her presentation.
  • Two representatives from each of the four DOE SR facilities met in DC on April 17-18: House and Senate Energy and Water appropriations committee members; OMB Office of Science, Technology and Policy; staff of Ellen Tauscher (San Francisco), Barbara Lee (Oakland), Dian Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and with Zoe Lofgren (San Jose). Corwin noted that having more than one representative attend these meetings was useful as having eight opinions and voices at the meetings on April 17 was very helpful in seeking support for physical sciences as well as life sciences, which many representatives could already relate to.
  • An email was sent last week calling users to support these activities with the individual Senators or Congressional representatives. A useful website with additional information is maintained at ACTION: Users are asked to let Cathy Knotts know when they send letters or meet with House/Senate Representatives so we can track who sent what.
  • Corwin mentioned that it is important for users to specify that they "want to talk about science" when arranging meetings so the correct person (usually a science advisor) can be included in order to build enthusiasm from staff as well as representatives. It was also noted that meetings can be arranged via email; meetings should be brief, well organized, and respectful. Users were encouraged to display enthusiasm and keep the meeting moving quickly as representatives and their staff are usually very busy and can only allocate brief amounts of time to meetings - but they can have a great deal of impact. ACTION: Corwin and Uwe agreed to document their experiences in order to pass it on to future SSRLUO-EC members who are sent to DC and other meetings with House/Senate/DOE representatives.
  • Corwin gave a presentation on the SSRL users' organization to the SLAC Science Policy Committee on May 3.

Plans for 29th Annual SSRL Users' Meeting

  • Uwe Bergmann and John Pople will co-chair this years' meeting. They have met with SLAC Tech Pubs and developed a logo for the meeting which is an artistic impression of passing the torch from SPEAR2 to SPEAR3. Deadlines for abstracts, early registration etc. have been determined. ACTION: Uwe and John will contact people to give invited presentations and serve as session chairs. Users will be informed about the meeting plans via mailings, emails, notice in Headlines, and the meeting website:
  • Yves Petroff, former director general for ESRF, has agreed to give a keynote address. Other invited speakers include: Magnus Sandstrom and James Penner-Hahn. ACTION: Users are encouraged to suggest ideas for workshops to be held in conjunction with the users' meeting.
  • It was noted that the next poster session could be enhanced by reminding advisors to encourage students to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations. ACTION: URA will work with spokespersons and students to communicate this opportunity.
  • Corwin mentioned that he would like to increase nominations for the Lytle Award, and may consider whether the wording or nomination criteria should be expanded. ACTION: A call for nominations for the 2002 Lytle Award will be made to SSRL users shortly.
  • The committee decided to add one additional position to the EC to represent the growing LCLS user community. However, they did not feel familiar enough with this field to suggest people and they asked for SSRL's assistance in identifying people with interest or expertise related to LCLS who might be approached about being nominated in the next election. Information on several experiments related to the LCLS is available on the webpage: ACTION: Cathy Knotts will compile and forward names of potential nominees for the LCLS representative to the EC. The call for nominees for the 2003 SSRLUO-EC will shortly be distributed to users, with the election to take place during the Oct 7-8, 2002 users' meeting.


  • Corwin Booth expressed his desire to increase user input from the current ~35% return rate on the end of run summary (EORS) forms. Several options to encourage or enforce compliance were discussed, including sending reminders several weeks after beam time if survey was not completed, incorporating a reminder with beam time requests, and establishing a more formal checkout process. Corwin also asked if anyone was interested in being the designated EC member to review input from the EORS process. Uwe Bergmann and several other members expressed a willingness to help with this process. ACTION: Cathy Knotts will work with EC to provide EORS data.
  • A suggestion was made to include information on publications in the proposal process in order to factor that in to proposal review and rating as well as to facilitate collection and distribution of publication data including theses. Currently, this information is only requested and considered when spokespersons are requesting extensions for program proposals. ACTION: Cathy Knotts will raise this idea at the next meeting of the SSRL Proposal Review Panel, which is scheduled on August 26, 2002.
  • NO closed session discussion items were identified.
  • The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.

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