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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: December 9, 2002 11:00 a.m.

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Attendees:   Uwe Bergmann, Corwin Booth, Ben Bostick, Lisa Dunn, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Erik Nelson, Piero Pianetta, Tom Rabedeau, Martina Ralle, Deanne Jackson Rudd

  • Uwe Bergmann, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 11 am.
  • Keith Hodgson reported that a Lehman review of SPEAR3 was held at SLAC on December 4th. The review focused on installation plans and provided very positive feedback. The SPEAR3 project remains on time and on budget. The DOE did make a few constructive comments on managing the construction schedule and recommended adjusting the 5.7 month installation schedule to 6 months to leave more time for soliciting and reviewing construction bids.
  • Keith reported that the budget picture remained a bit uncertain, as we are still operating under a "continuing resolution". Further news is expected in January or shortly thereafter. While this does not create an especially difficult problem for most of SSRL, it does impact LCLS because they can not access designated funds until the entire appropriations are passed. Budget cuts for the high energy physics program at SLAC may affect SSRL in that some critical support services are provided by SLAC for SSRL operations.
  • Keith reported that the SLAC Scientific Policy Committee (SPC), which is the highest level advisory body for SLAC, met on Dec. 6-7. Several presentations on the synchrotron program, including SPEAR3, LCLS, SPPS, beam line developments, and science highlights were made. The new committee members were also named: Douglas Rees, Marvin Cassman and Denis Roux. The committee's discussion was very supportive of the work being done at SSRL. The SSRLUO-EC will be asked to make a presentation to the SPC at their May meeting. The SPC has recommended more formal interactions between the users' organization at SLAC and SSRL. Even though they represent two very different user communities with different needs and interests, there are areas on common interest such as funding, user accommodations, and joint programs such as LCLS. As an example, in response to SLUO users' needs for office space, DOE supported the new research office building at SLAC which was built requests for more SLUO users. It was suggested that periodic meetings be arranged or invitations be extended to members of the respective groups to each others meetings. Uwe Bergmann, who participated with SLUO members, on the SLAC Guest House Guidelines committee agreed that it was important to learn more about each others' needs and commented that he found the recent committee informative and helpful from that perspective.
  • Uwe reported that he had lunch along with Dr. Orbach and other users' during the 10/15/02 institutional review at SLAC. Dr. Orbach and Dr. James Decker (Director and Deputy Director of DOE SC, respectively) were accompanied by a number of staff from DOE headquarters, DOE Oakland and the DOE local site office. Uwe reported the Dr. Orbach warned users that the budget would be tight, and urged them to be realistic in requests. It was suggested that users sit down with management to discuss ideas. Uwe urged other users to think about and suggest options that might be considered for post SPEAR3 operations that would not require major budget commitments.
  • Tom Rabedeau shared beam line development slides that he presented to the SPC which were essentially the plans and priorities which had been shared with SSRL users previously. The priority remains to have all the front ends 500mA capable when SPEAR3 turns on. Insertion device beam lines are the next priority. Four engineers are working on the bending magnet beam lines and have been asked to develop ways that these beam lines may be able to accept higher than 100mA current. Tom and others have been working with SLAC Radiation Physics which must evaluate and approve plans related to beam line design, implementation, shielding, etc. Not much response has been received from them to date regarding beam line plans. Slippage in the schedule due to rad physics will continue to be brought to the attention of SSRL management and the SSRLUO-EC. Rad physics may demand full radiation shielding up to 500mA which will involve a significant amount of work.
  • Uwe reported that there was general consensus among users that they wanted more beam lines even at lower current at the beginning of the 1/04 run rather than shutting down all but the 500mA beam lines. Tom reportedly that, based on prior experiences with other RF systems, this could naturally be achieved because ramp-up plans predict that it will take 6-9 months before delivering 500mA.
  • Piero Pianetta stated his high priority to get bending magnet beam lines up to speed. BL8 is in fairly good shape, assuming ok by Rad physics without a hutch. BL3 could be changed to sulphur and silicon edge on up at low cost; silicon may suffer during this interim measure, but sulphur should be ok pending resolution of rad shielding uncertainties. Piero asked for the committee's input on impact to help set priorities.
  • Tom noted that SLAC HEP cutbacks have increased resources for SSRL, and that needed support such as for brazing may be able to be accomplished more quickly than in the past.
  • Tom and Keith reported on new capabilities and showed the committee a diagram of where 8-9 new beam lines could be installed. Many of these beam lines are up for definition and demonstrate SSRL's desire to stay at the forefront of synchrotron radiation science. Another proposal will be submitted as part of the nanoscience program to build out one or more of these beam lines. Outside funding is also being sought to build out these beam lines.
  • Keith reported that it was unlikely that either of BL10 PRT's would continue post SPEAR3, and this beam time would revert back to general users. BL10-2 may be available for BL4 users and had been previously been approved for radioactive materials use. Keith reported that Jo Stohr was working on resolution with the PRT's, and future PRT's would be considered only if there was intellectual and development support on both sides.
  • Uwe noted that XANES and EXAFS would profit from SPEAR3 if beam lines were ready to make use of higher flux and brightness with more powerful beam lines. He suggested that more continuous type scans be incorporated to measure several samples quickly. This would require new designs and more motor controllers as well as additional staffing for programmers and beam line staff. Keith reiterated his goal to find the resources to dedicate 1 staff scientist per beam line. Going from step mode to continuous is not trivial and would need to incorporate sample manipulations into EXAFS software.
  • Britt Hedman reported that there is a prototype to put shutters in and out, but that it was not quite ready. Sample manipulation may be easy to put into software, but that would put a higher demand on sample quality - may be detrimental to signal to noise and actual results. She noted that there may be a benefit to magnifying beam and taking out the focus to make the beam spot larger (e.g., with new BL7-3 control system and intelligent controller).
  • Uwe noted that better detectors are needed. He questioned whether the SSRL Proposal Review Panel (PRP) may want to address demand for lower brightness experiments in evaluating proposals.
  • Piero reported on a DOE detector initiative and that Hal Tompkins and John Arthur were pulling together proposals to address this. User input would be welcome.
  • Martina Ralle noted that the beam was already extremely bright and focused that it burned a hole in her sample. A discussion about other materials to better hold samples followed, but no easy resolution was determined.
  • Uwe requested that SSRL consider replacing the old SR key with other options. Systems at other facilities were discussed, but since SSRL is such an open facility (limited control over numerous doors and perimeters) it would be difficult to remove the SR key. It was noted that even though it can be frustrating when previous users forget to turn in the SR key and take it back to their hotel or home institution, the system has worked well historically. In addition to limiting control for beam lines to specific individuals, the current system allows duty operators to interact with the users and know who is working on the various beam lines when they deliver the SR keys. Since any staff that may be allocated to work on replacing the system is currently busy with beam line upgrades, SPEAR3 preparations, and SPPS, it was unlikely that this would become a priority in the near future. The committee was agreeable to putting this issue on the back burner.
  • Plans for the SLAC Guest House were discussed. The reservation system is now live and taking reservations for stays after July 2003. The front desk will be staffed 24 hours a day and will also have a small convenience shop to purchase food and sundries. It was suggested that the committee look into ways to improve the reliability of the Marguerite shuttle service between SLAC, Stanford, and the shopping center.
  • Keith urged users to be continue to be proactive in providing these and other types of input.
  • Cathy Knotts distributed minutes of the October 8, 2002 meeting for the committee to review, and these were subsequently posted to the web for all users.
  • The meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee

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