by Dave Robin, ALS-U Project Director
In the last year since the ALS Upgrade Project (ALS-U) received approval of mission need (CD-0) from the U.S. Department of Energy, I’m happy to report that we’ve made a lot of progress. I’d like to share some updates with you as well as offer opportunities for our users to engage in the next phases of the project.
The ALS-U Project team has been building momentum as we set up the project, develop the conceptual design, and carry out key R&D. A number of Berkeley Lab divisions are contributing to the efforts. Project team staff include members of ALS, Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics, Engineering, and Facilities, and we have received additional assistance from various operations divisions. The enthusiasm and support we’ve received from across Berkeley Lab for this project is a true testament of the “team science” spirit that E.O. Lawrence himself engendered and upon which the Lab was founded.
In addition to internal expertise, we’ve benefited from the input of external advisory committees. This past summer, we held the inaugural meetings of our Machine Advisory Committee (MAC), which is charged with providing advice on the technical design and R&D activities related to the accelerator systems and insertion devices, and Experimental Systems Advisory Committee (ESAC), which is providing advice on the technical design and R&D activities related to the beamlines. Overall, the feedback was very positive. Mentioned in particular were the quality of the team and the progress of the R&D as well as conceptual design. The ALS-U team received many detailed comments that will help strengthen our efforts moving forward. In addition, the ALS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) continues to provide important guidance on scientific directions.
In January, we held a workshop on “Solving Scientific Challenges with Coherent Soft X-Rays.” The event convened more than 170 U.S. and international scientists to discuss early science enabled by ALS-U. The recently released report contains a number of exciting opportunities presented by ALS-U’s new capabilities that address longstanding scientific challenges.
As we move into the next phases of the project, including the selection of new and rebuilt beamlines that will be part of the project scope, it will be critical to get user input. Over the next few months, we’ll be asking for your ideas at the upcoming User Meeting, through online user forums, and at crosscutting beamline reviews. At the ALS User Meeting next week, Steve Kevan, the ALS Science Deputy and ALS-U Science Coordinator, and I will be giving you more detailed information about progress in this area and these opportunities for engagement. For those of you not able to make the User Meeting, please look for additional announcements and updates by email and in future issues of ALSNews.
I look forward to continuing to work with you as we design and build the future of ALS.