As the ALS Division Deputy for Accelerator Operations and Development, I oversee the Accelerator Physics Group, the Accelerator Operations Group, the Floor Operations Section, and the ALS Procedure Center. These groups all play very important roles in ensuring that the ALS stays at the forefront of synchrotron radiation sources while operating safely and reliably.
The Accelerator Physics Group, led by Christoph Steier and myself, is continually working to improve operations and expand the capabilities of the accelerator. In this endeavor, the group works closely with users, beamline scientists, and the engineering groups to provide high performance, reliable operations, smooth implementation of accelerator upgrades, and to develop future upgrades.
There has been a rich history of developments of the ALS accelerator. This includes the implementation of new and sometimes very novel insertion devices, the superbend magnets, and more recently, the transition to top-off injection. The ALS is the world’s brightest source of soft x-ray (<1nm) radiation, which is remarkable considering that at 17 years of age, it is the second oldest third generation light source. The developments are far from over and in particular the next four years will be a period of intense development. There will be brightness, RF system, controls and instrumentation upgrades (see this month’s feature). In addition, the APEX photo-injector, a prototype for a high-repetition rate free electron laser, will be tested at the ALS beam test facility. It is a very exciting time.
The Accelerator Operations Group, led by Rick Bloemhard, provides safe and reliable operation of the accelerators 24-hours a day. They are the first line of defense when operations issues arise. Additionally, operators provide after hours emergency response and user assistance. Finally, operational reliability data is compiled and analyzed by David Richardson (one of two owl-shift operators), which can be seen in the Building 80 corridor at the entrance to Building 6.
The Floor Operations Section, an integral part of the Accelerator Operations Group, is led by John Pruyn and is charged with maintaining configuration control of beamline radiation shielding. This section acts as the first line of defense in ensuring that any shielding work (no matter how small) is initiated and completed safely and properly. These highly trained experts play a critical role in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of such a complex ensemble of beamlines.
Finally the Procedure Center, led by Karen Nunez, develops, maintains, and updates ALS procedures. The ALS relies on more than 350 procedures (operations, user, electrical, mechanical, interlock, etc.) for accomplishing work safely and efficiently. Procedures need to be current and carefully written and reviewed, and the relevant staff needs to be properly trained. It is a big job.
I am very proud of the work done by the members of the Accelerator Operations and Development Groups. They continue to play a major role in keeping the ALS at the forefront of synchrotron light sources. We warmly welcome input and feedback from users and staff.
David Robin, 510-486-6028, [email protected]
Christoph Steier, 510-495-2992 [email protected]
Rick Bloemhard, 510-486-4738 [email protected]
Control Room, 510-486-4969 [email protected]
Floor Operations, 510-486-7464 (RING)
Procedure Center, 510- 486-6535, [email protected]