Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on November 14, 1996, at Argonne National Laboratory


S. Barr, M. Beno, R. Bubeck, J. Day (for Project Update only), S. Dierker, R. Harlow, G. Long, D. Moncton (for Project Update and Close-Out only), J. Quintana, S. Picologlou, G. Shenoy (for Project Update, two Executive Session items, and Close-Out only), L. Soderholm, L. Sorenson, L. Stefanski (for Project Update and two Executive Session items only), M. Sutton, S. Sutton, and J. Tischler

Routine Business:

Chair Mark Sutton called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved,the status of action items from the previous meeting was reviewed. Information concerning the Independent Investigator (II) policy was handed out followed by a brief discussion on the question of when the "clock" starts. L. Stefanski asked that comments regarding the II policy be sent to her by Dec. 2, 1996.

Project Update:

D. Moncton began the project update with an aerial photo of the completed APS facilities. He then drew attention to the linac-based undulator test facility now under construction. This new construction work began three weeks ago to extend the linac tunnel about 50 meters so that insertion devices of various lengths can be tested. The linac energy (400 - 650 MeV) is well matched for performing undulator spectral diagnostics. This construction is being funded by the remaining contingency in the APS construction project. This test facility will provide the APS with an opportunity to perform R&D in the area of self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE). In FY 1997, the APS received $700,000 in funds from the LDRD (Laboratory Directed R&D) program for this research.

With respect to operations, the APS

  • is now filling routinely to 100 mA
  • is operating with positrons
  • is storing positrons with a lifetime of ~11 hours
  • takes ~20-30 minutes to refill after faults
  • is experiencing faults at the rate of ~5/day
  • has reduced orbit motion significantly and improved orbit stability to better than 10% of the particle beam size
  • is scheduling user time at ~250 hours per run of three weeks (with an additional three weeks maintenance period), with x-ray availability increasing from ~165 hours to ~224 hours between August and October

Analysis of the reasons for faults indicates that most are due to beam motion or rf problems. It appears that the beam motion faults are most likely due to transient problems with the power supplies.

The APS has been operating the facility on an average of three weeks dedicated to maintenance and installation, and three weeks for storage-ring operation. Of these three weeks, one week is dedicated to accelerator commissioning and improvements to meet user requirements (orbit control, beam stability, reduction of trips, etc.), with the remaining two weeks for user beam time. A good part of the day shifts during user beam time has been used for shielding verification of various experiment stations as part of the user beamline commissioning activities. User beam time during these two weeks has averaged about 250 hours. The time for shielding verification will decrease during future runs starting in December 1996.

During routine operations, with minimal activities associated with accelerator commissioning and shielding verification, APS long-range plans call for approximately 6000 hours of user beam time per year. Since most front-end installations will be completed by early May 1997, the APS had hoped to deliver nearly 3000 hours of user beam time during the six months from April to October 1997. However, the reduced FY 1997 budget for the APS will permit only about 1500 hours of user beam time during this period. (Although the 1500 hours is well below the 3000 hours originally planned, it represents an increase over the user beam time delivered during the first half of FY 1997.)

Argonne Guest House: Next, J. Day discussed progress at the Argonne Guest House. A five-year management contract has been awarded to Marriott, which assumed building responsibility on November 4, 1996. Many of the key personnel have been hired, and the General Manager, William J. Schaefer, is now on site. Furniture installation is underway, and the estimated opening date is early January 1997. The proposed rate structure was presented (see Appendix A). It was noted that this facility will be available for all Argonne guests, not just for APS users, and it will also be used in conjunction with conferences on site. In response to a question by J. Quintana, it was pointed out that the APS will be maintaining the network connections at the Guest House (not Marriott).

Executive Sessions:

User Operations Schedule. B. Bubeck felt it would be helpful to the users if the time indicated in the schedule designated "User beam time" was described more specifically. That is, time that will be used for shielding verification should be so designated on the schedule on the Web. This point was addressed by the APS several months ago, and the schedule on the Web currently reflects all the suggested changes. Bubeck also raised the concern that shielding verification takes place during the day shift. G. Shenoy indicated that because of the schedules of the people involved in this activity, it must take place primarily during the day-time hours. However, the time devoted to this task should decrease significantly in 1997; thus scheduling will become less of a concern. L. Sorenson and L. Soderholm requested that the CAT Chat minutes be sent out via a ListServe to supplement the posting on the Web as an additional means of keeping APS users informed about activities of this type. This issue will be examined further.

Proprietary Research. B. Bubeck reported that Dow has a problem with prepayment for proprietary beam time. The current APS draft policy specifies a prepayment requirement of one shift of proprietary beam time per quarter to establish an account. This solution may be acceptable.

APSUO Steering Committee reporting. This issue was not discussed except to say that the problem appears to have been addressed.

User Meeting Plans. Jon Tischler presented lists of proposed APS workshops and those planned for the NSLS meeting in May 1997. There was some concern about the possibility of overlap between the workshop topics for that meeting and those for the Eighth Users Meeting for the APS in April 1997. The Steering Committee was relatively satisfied with the list; only a few changes were made. A more general (overview or introductory) workshop was suggested in place of the optics workshop, and two of the workshops were reduced from a full day to a half day. Next suggestions were made concerning workshop organizers, with several names proposed for each workshop topic. (These names were people who might either be workshop organizer or providers of suggestions for workshop organizers.) The workshops will take place on Tuesday, April 15, 1997. The list of workshop topics with associated names is as follows:

  1. Microbeams: Making and Using Very Small X-ray Beams (full day)
    Gene Ice, Steve Sutton, or Mark Rivers
  2. Spectroscopies, Energy Loss and Gain (1/2 day)
    Eric Issacs, John Hill, or Chi Chang Kao
  3. Macromolecular Crystallography (full day)
    Keith Moffat or Steve Ealick
  4. General Overview (1/2 day)
    Gopal Shenoy
  5. 2-D Scattering, Surfaces and Interfaces, Reflectivity, and Standing Waves (1/2 day)
    Mike Bedzyk, Ian Robinson, Brian Stephenson, or Doon Gibbs
  6. Time-Resolved Scattering Techniques (1/2 day)
    Brian Stephenson, Joel Brock, Steve Dierker, or Roy Clarke

J. Tischler will contact these individuals and will finalize the list.

The rest of the program for the User's meeting was then discussed. The following schedule was proposed.


Tuesday, April 15, 1997:

Concurrent workshops
APS tour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Wine and cheese reception/poster session on the Experiment Hall floor from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Dinner/CAT meetings after 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 16, 1997

APS Status presentation (D. Moncton)
DOE presentation
Compton Award and Lecture
Highlights of the last 6 months at the APS (i.e., recent exciting research results)
Other scientific overview talks

Thursday, April 17, 1997

APS facility presentations
APSUO business meeting
Incoming/outgoing APSUO Steering Committee meeting
Possible CAT meetings

Again, J. Tischler will arrange the scientific overview talks scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Steering Committee members should call him with any suggestions.

1997 Nominating Committee (for the APSUO Steering Committee). M. Sutton suggested that R. Pindak chair this committee, and M. Beno and R. Harlow agreed to participate. This committee will put together a list of people for the ballot for the APSUO Steering Committee election and will bring the list to the next APSUO Steering Committee meeting in January 1997. In addition, anyone on the Steering Committee can suggest names, and Calls for Nominations will go out on both the APSUO Web page and via CAT Communicator. There will also be a call for nominations in the registration packets for the Eighth Users Meeting. A question about the methods of adding people to the Steering Committee prompted an agenda item for the next meeting, "By-Laws Review." (Note that a link to the current by-laws can be found on the APSUO Web page. The URL is <http://www.aps.anl.gov/apsuo/bylaws.html>)

Compton Prize Committee. M. Sutton will ask the APS Program Evaluation Board (PEB) to once again serve as the Selection Committee for this award. A draft "Call for Nominations" was included in the meeting packet, and Steering Committee members were asked to review it and let Susan Barr know if any of the wording in the letter should be changed. The letter needs to go out soon. The deadline for nominations will be January 15 so that the nominating packages are received before the next PEB meeting (January 20, 1997).

APS Library Committee Report. S. Sutton reported that this committee met in August. All the libraries on site were asked to reduce their journal subscriptions by 10%; this amounted to a reduction of approximately $6000 for the APS library. One journal costing $10,000/year was dropped, so it was possible to add some journals this year. Environmental Science and Technology, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transport, and the Journal of Molecular Biology were added. The book budget last year was $17,000, but this year was only $5000. Currently, $2000-$3000 remain, so suggestions are welcome. The library is still open 24 hours per day.

1997 APSUO Steering Committee meeting schedule. The 1997 schedule was included in the packet. The dates were cleared with as many people as possible. The APS will try to avoid any last-minute changes.

User Amenities Fund. There was a discussion about setting up an Amenities Fund to provide items for the users at the Argonne Guest House. A letter soliciting contributions from vendors will be drafted. It was also stated that the entrance sign (supported by user donations) will be in place prior to the Eighth Users Meeting.

Letter to the DOE (M. Krebs and P. Dehmer). M. Sutton will draft a letter expressing appreciation to the DOE for establishing a committee to review the status of the DOE synchrotron facilities. The letter will also express user concern about the lack of basic science funding and offer to be of help in this area. The draft letter will be sent around for comments before Thanksgiving.

Notification of budget cut impact. There was debate as to the best approach to take in this matter. Most members felt that global notification to the users of the impact on operations of the current and proposed budget cuts may generate a overwhelming response from the users that would result in a negative backlash from the DOE. It was thought that this issue should perhaps be addressed by the Research Directorate. M. Sutton agreed to discuss possible approaches at the Close-Out.

Follow-up Action Items:

  1. Send Liz Stefanski any comments regarding the Independent Investigator policy by December 2, 1996 (all Steering Committee members).
  2. Recruit workshop organizers and scientific overview speakers for the Eighth User Meeting (J. Tischler).
  3. Put together a draft list of people for the ballot for the APSUO Steering Committee election that will take place at the Eighth User Meeting (Nominating Committee: R. Pindak, M. Beno, and R. Harlow).
  4. Add a "Call for Nominations to the APSUO Steering Committee" to the APSUO Web page and to the next CAT Communicator (S. Barr).
  5. Add an agenda item (By-Laws Review) to the schedule for the next APSUO Steering Committee meeting (S. Barr).
  6. Ask the PEB members to serve as the Compton Prize Selection Committee (M. Sutton).
  7. Send out a "Call for Nominations" for the Compton Prize via letters and notices in appropriate journals (S. Barr).
  8. Send a letter to the DOE on behalf of the APS users expressing both appreciation for establishing a committee to review the status and future of the DOE synchrotron facilities and concern about the lack of basic science funding (M. Sutton and Steering Committee members).
  9. Send e-mail to the Steering Committee members advising them that it was decided to go ahead with notification to the users of the effect of funding cuts on the amount of time available for APS operation (see Close-Out) (M. Sutton).
  10. Finalize and distribute first announcement flier for the Eighth User Meeting (S. Barr).

Close Out:

M. Sutton reported on the Executive Session discussions, indicating that the Steering Committee members were concerned that a "global" notification to users of the impact of funding cuts on the amount of time available for operations at the APS might provoke an overwhelming response from the users that would generate negative repercussions from DOE. At the Close-Out, it was decided that, if the wording of the message was worked out in advance with the DOE, it would be appropriate to notify the users by means of a WWW posting.

Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee will be held on Thursday, January 30, 1997, in Bldg. 401 (APS Central Laboratory/Office Bldg.). Room A5000, Argonne National Laboratory.