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SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: May 9, 2003 12:00 p.m.

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Attendees:   : Uwe Bergmann, Corwin Booth, Ben Bostick, Richard Brennan, Ray Cowen, Lisa Dunn, Jerry Hastings, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Tim McPhillips, Anneli Munkholm, Erik Nelson, Piero Pianetta, Nick Pingitore, Tom Rabedeau, Michelle Steger

A meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUO-EC) was held on May 9th, and a summary of issues discussed follows. Follow up or action items are highlighted in bold.

  • Uwe Bergmann, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 12 noon. Since the meeting start time was moved up from the original 1 pm to accommodate several individuals' schedules, pizza and salad were provided by user administration for this working lunch meeting.
  • Keith Hodgson was present to give an update, summarizing thirty years of service and productivity at SSRL. Keith gave an update on major projects including the SPEAR3 upgrade, SPPS, and LCLS. The transition from a 2nd to 3rd generation light source is progressing well, with the project on time and on budget. The SPEAR2 removal phase is complete and the floor preparation for SPEAR3 installation has begun. LCLS received $6M for project engineering and design (PED) funding in FY03. The LCLS project was also well represented in the DOE-BES 20-year facility road map (copy of this report was distributed). The next DOE review of LCLS is scheduled later in May. Keith summarized the additional cost to effectively operate and utilize the advanced capabilities of SPEAR3. SSRL's operations proposed in the President's FY04 budget include first significant increase for SPEAR3 ($3,727K or ~18%).
  • Jerry Hastings gave an update of the Sub-Picosecond Pulse Source (SPPS) experiment, which is scheduled to begin the week of May 12th. SPPS is the first opportunity in the world to conduct science with high brightness, short pulse x-rays (and in preparation for LCLS). An undulator, multilayer monochromator, and experimental hutch have been installed. The progress to prepare for SPPS has been astonishing; most activities have essentially happened within the last month, including radiation physics approval, which is expected next week. The initial run of SPPS has been scheduled from May 1-June 15, and the next run is scheduled for about 12 weeks from November 15-February 15, 2004. SPPS operates in a parasitic mode, sharing FFTB beam time with other SLAC programs in the research yard, and is supported in part by SLAC staff. Because of the numerous constraints on SPPS, there is no general user component. SPPS is a collaborative experiment, and new collaborators can approach existing collaborators and propose experiments. There is growing support for SPPS, and it is possible that these experiments could continue in partnership with SLAC in the LCLS era.
  • Tom Rabedeau presented several slides and a status report related to beam line development. He reported that first light in the new BL11-3 was achieved and that users were able to collect data on this newest beam line before the 2003 run ended in March. Tom noted that beam line shielding associated with SPEAR3 would be phased in; this coupled with the ramp up needs and ring run schedule would likely mean that many beam lines could be used at 100 mA when SPEAR3 comes up in early 2004. The plan is to hold off on removing SPEAR2 components until their SPEAR3 replacements are ready to be replaced, which may mean temporary 1-2 week shutdowns approximately every few months. The BL4 and BL7 insertion devices will be replaced with 20 pole hybrid insertion devices this summer. Since the beam line masks will not be fully configured for the power of these new insertion devices, the wiggler fields will be reduced to limit the power density to an acceptable level. The associated narrowing of the radiation fans will render only the end stations on BL4-2 and BL7-2 functional until the mask upgrades are complete. The side stations would not be operational until their upgrade work is completed. Even with degraded capabilities, users should still experience an order of magnitude in better brightness.
  • Uwe and Ben Bostick reported that they traveled to Washington, DC in April along with user organization chairs and vice-chairs from other DOE supported light source. While there, they met with representatives from DOE, OSTP, Congress, Senate, and appropriations committees. Copies of handouts and follow up letters are available on the user activism website:
  • Ben announced that he had recently sent an email to SSRL users and encouraged users to write or visit their local Congressional representatives to express their interest in increased funding for physical sciences and for general user facilities. Ben mentioned that some of the representatives that he spoke with were not aware of the facilities, the DOE research program, or the large user community that benefits from the light sources. These communications can have tremendous impact. Ben has updated the users organization website to make it easier for users to locate and contact their representatives:
  • The next annual meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization will be held on October 9-10, 2003. Ben Bostick and Tim McPhillips, co-chairs for this meeting, shared their plans to have sessions related to scientific techniques rather than by discipline. User suggestions for speakers that could cover interdisciplinary topics and suggestions for workshops are encouraged. It was requested that facility talks be less technical and more focused on the science available with the upgraded equipment. The first mailing will be sent out shortly, and updates will be posted on the website: http://www-
  • A suggestion was made to incorporate ways to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of SSRL, perhaps by inviting past users or students to a reunion reception during the annual users' meeting. A suggestion was made to encourage users to bring an old poster with an incentive, such as "bring an old poster and get a free drink", or a "prize for the oldest poster." It was suggested that early users who helped SSRL get started be specifically invited to participate if a reunion event is held, including Ed Stern, Farrel Lytle and Dale Sayers.
  • A list of ~500 graduate student theses from 1974-2003 was circulated to the committee. Users were asked to review SSRL's publications lists, and let SSRL know if there are other theses or related user publications that should be added to the publications list as this is one of the primary ways to demonstrate the impact and productivity of a facility, and this will be helpful if we decide to have a special recognition for graduate students and other users at the next users' meeting: http://www-
  • The committee urged users to stay active in SSRL activities, even during the current shutdown. Each EC members was asked to think in advance about potential nominees for the annual Lytle Award and to consider submitting nominations for this award. Lytle Award nominations are due before September 8, 2003.
  • Regarding candidates to fill upcoming vacancies on the SSRLUO-EC, users are encouraged to contact potential candidates to determine if they are interested in running for a position on the EC. Forward the candidate(s) names to Cathy Knotts who will prepare and distribute a ballot later this summer. A list of current and past EC members by scientific discipline was distributed for informational purposes. The election will conclude on October 9th and the new members will be announced at the annual users' meeting.
  • Users attending the annual meeting in October or any other SSRL related business at SLAC are encouraged to make reservations at the new SLAC guest house, which will open in June.
  • Deanne Jackson Rudd is the SSRLUO representative on the SLAC Security Coordination Group (SCG) committee, which discusses and coordinates security communications and implementation of security policies. An alternate to SCG is requested in the event that Deanne is unable to attend some meetings. Richard Brennan volunteered to serve as the SCG alternate if he is able to attend by phone or if the committee is interested in covering his travel expenses from Oregon.
  • SSRLUO-EC welcomed Ray Cowen, a representative from the SLAC Users' Organization (SLUO). As a follow-up to the suggestion made by Dr. Raymond Orbach in 2002, the SLAC and SSRL users' organization have begun to invite representatives to each others' users meetings to work towards more interactions and coordination between user communities. SLUO meets quarterly to discuss recurring topics; the next meeting is scheduled on June 13th. Ray summarized several issues related to SLUO such as coordination among the many collaborators involved with HEP projects, presentations, publications; coordination with other HEP facilities, meetings with Congressional representatives; education, public relations and user outreach. SLUO coordinates physics tutors for local students and invites SSRL users interested in helping with this project to contact them.
  • The meeting concluded with a brief discussion of issues that the EC should follow up on. It was suggested that the users' organization explore the possibility of running quick scans at SSRL to facilitate faster turn around of the EXAFS beam lines in order to accommodate more users, given that BLs 4-1, 4-3, 7-1 and 7-3 will be down for some time. It was acknowledged that this change may require some equipment upgrades, and that significant effort may be needed to change beam line control and operating programs. Uwe will discuss the idea of quick scans with SSRL management and may suggest this at the PRP meeting on June 10th when the SSRLUO-EC Chair was invited to give a brief update of SSRLUO activities.
  • The next meeting will likely be done by phone or e-mail to follow up on Lytle award nominations, candidates to run for the 2003 SSRLUO-EC election, and other user issues. All members of the SSLUO-EC were encouraged to attend the upcoming annual users' meeting on October 9-10, 2003.
  • The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee

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