by Dave Robin, ALS-U Project Director, and Roger Falcone, ALS Director
On September 27, the ALS received news that the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved the mission need (also known as critical decision zero, or CD-0) for the ALS Upgrade (ALS-U).
This news follows from a successful review, earlier this year, by the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee’s Facility Upgrade Prioritization Subcommittee, which determined that the proposed ALS-U Project was “absolutely central” to contribute to world leading science and “ready to initiate construction.” We’re thrilled to have received such positive feedback and now the DOE’s confirmation of the need for a state-of-the-art synchrotron light source offering unparalleled soft x-ray coherent flux.
Under the ALS-U proposal, the existing ALS storage ring will be replaced with powerful new compact magnets arranged in a multibend achromat (MBA) lattice. This new lattice, in combination with other improvements to the electron accelerator, will reduce the electron beam emittance and dramatically increase the transverse x-ray coherence, producing up to 1000 times more soft x-ray coherent flux than today’s ALS—well beyond that of any ring-based light source in operation, under construction, or planned. The resulting stable, nearly continuous-wave, highly coherent, soft x-ray beams will enable important new types of scientific inquiry by allowing us to resolve nanometer-scale features and interactions, and follow real-time kinetics, revealing the nature of chemical transformations and the origin of the functional behavior of complex materials.
We’ve assembled a strong team of experts to lead us through the next stages of additional planning and reviews, including the upgrade’s conceptual design. But equally important to the project’s success will be engaging with our users, both to continue to develop the strongest possible scientific case for the upgrade and to ensure that we meet the diverse needs of our community.
To provide further information and forum for engagement, there are a few resources we’d like to draw your attention to. On our newly designed ALS website, you’ll find a set of pages dedicated to ALS-U. Included among these is a resources page, which contains an informational handout, FAQs document, and template and instructions for submitting your ideas for building the ALS-U science case, as well as an announcement of a workshop on January 18–20, 2017 to discuss early science and instruments on ALS-U. As we develop further resources and opportunities to engage on this important project, we will post them on the resources page, announce them on the ALS website homepage, and in ALSNews.
We look forward to working with you on this exciting journey to transform the ALS into a revolutionary light source for the 21st century.