Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on March 28, 1996, at Argonne National Laboratory


S. Barr, M. Beno, R. Bubeck, S. Ealick, R. Harlow, D. Moncton (for Project Update and Close-Out only), G. Shenoy (for Project Update and Close-Out only),L. Soderholm, E. Stefanski (for Project Update and one issue of Executive Session 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 as written; Steve Sutton commented, however, that in future minutes, the inclusion of a first initial would help a reader distinguish between himself and Mark Sutton.

Project Update:

David Moncton began by reviewing the APS Project status. With respect to operations, in January the machine achieved a stored current of 100 mA, with a lifetime of five hours. Previous problems with the vacuum system, water connectors, rf tuners, and transformers have been satisfactorily addressed. Excellent performance has been obtained from the magnets, power supplies, diagnostics, control system, and injector accelerators. It appears that the APS has now reached a stage where the hardware problems are minor or residual. At present, five undulators have been installed in the ring, with 5-m x 8-mm vacuum chambers. Beam has been taken on eight beamlines (Sectors 1, 2, 3, and 19 ID lines and Sectors 1,2, 5, and 12 BM lines), with more than 12 beamlines expected to be in an early operational stage this summer. Forty experimental enclosures are now on the floor, either finished or at some stage of construction. For the rest of 1996, the APS expects to be able to maintain an operational schedule of three-weeks on and three-weeks off.

Construction of the User Residence Facility should be finished by July. However, furnishing the facility is included in the contract for operations, and a contractor has not yet been chosen. The projected opening of the facility for business is early in calendar 1997.

The funding picture for the APS for fiscal year 1997 is not yet clear. Although the APS needs at least a $6M increase from current year funding to support full operations, that increase is not reflected in the current president's budget. The APS could probably manage to operate for one year without a major impact on services or operational schedule by using some level of forward financing; however, that approach is a "one-time fix." Negotiations are on-going in Washington, and the APS is working hard to make the case for appropriate funding levels. In response to a question from Bob Bubeck as to what users could do to help, Moncton replied that users can help to counteract the perception that the APS has been "lavishly" funded and can help educate others as to the costs/benefits of appropriate support. The bottom line for users is what type of a facility do they want and what kind of support do they consider essential for the facility to operate properly. For example, are user technical support, optics and undulator research, etc. considered important? Do we need an adequate supply of spares to minimize downtime? The APS believes these things are important; if the users do too, the APS needs to hear from them. The bottom line is that the APS intends to run the facility productively and plans to make its case in Congress this year, but definitely in such a way that it is not counterproductive to any other facility.

Moncton then briefly reviewed the Fourth-Generation Synchrotron workshop held in Grenoble, indicating that although nothing technically new was presented, discussion is now beginning to identify the scientific opportunities that such a machine could provide. Many technical challenges lie ahead. Current plans call for preliminary R&D, in cooperation with Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, to look into the possibility of a facility based on self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) free electron lasers. This type of facility could ultimately produce photons with a peak brilliance of 1023.

In response to a question about the January Program Evaluation Board reviews, Moncton replied that 80% of the CATs are in reasonable shape. Specific guidance has been given to each CAT as to individual concerns. No global problems were identified.

Executive Session

Prepayment for Proprietary Beamtime: Mark Sutton invited Liz Stefanski to address this issue. Dick Harlow, however, indicated that Liz had already provided him with information indicating why prepayment was required and this issue was no longer of concern.

APS Dedication: APSUO Gift: M. Sutton reported on developments with respect to this gift. Preliminary plans for a sculpture/monument to be used as the entry sign for the APS have been drawn up, and a three-quarter model is being constructed to serve as the backdrop for the dedication ceremony. During the ceremony, Sutton (representing the APS Users Organization) will present Alan Schriesheim, Argonne National Laboratory Director, and David Moncton with a replica of a plaque to be mounted on the sign. Sutton then distributed a draft letter to APS users with draft text for the citation and asked for comments on the wording, indicating that this wording with be discussed and finalized during the Close-Out portion of the meeting. He also asked for comments on the letter itself, which is planned for distribution to all APS users. It describes the dedication gift and provides an opportunity for users to contribute if they so desire. Contributions will be sent to Jon Tischler, Vice-Chair of the APSUO.

Accelerated Distribution of APSUO Steering Committee Minutes: Bob Bubeck indicated that Steering Committee minutes, if distributed in a timely manner, will help him to provide his organization with updates. Susan Barr agreed to work hard to distribute minutes more promptly.

Next APSUO Meeting/Steering Committee Election Process: After some discussion, the Steering Committee recommended that the next meeting be held in late April or early May. Barr agreed to check on dates for potentially conflicting meetings and finalize a date prior to the next Steering Committee meeting, at which time a program committee and nominating committee will be selected. With respect to the Steering Committee election process, the Committee discussed various alternatives to meet the objective of community representation. Among the alternatives discussed were (1) allowing the Committee to appoint up to three additional members to provide representation for non- or under-represented sections of the community, (2) mail-in or e-mail ballots, and (3) election by categories. After extensive discussion, the Steering Committee decided that no changes should be made to the current system, but that the agenda for the next Users Meeting should contain a separate time for CAT meetings, thus minimizing the chance that individual CATs would decide to meet during the APSUO Steering Committee election.

Library Committee Report: S. Sutton reported that the APS Library Committee met on February 27, 1996, to discuss acquisitions for the coming year. Approximately $10k is allocated each year, and the Committee would like input from the users and a recommendation on the most effective way to obtain it. Following discussion, the Steering Committee recommended that Sutton advise the Library Committee to distribute a survey to all APS Users located at Argonne. The survey should ask for input on items needed for the start-up collection, as well as items needed at "steady-state."

Follow-up Action Items:

1. Finalize dates for the Eighth Users Meeting for the Advanced Photon Source (Barr)..

2. Provide feedback to the APS Library Committee with respect to input from APS Users (S. Sutton).

3. Finalize text for dedication plaque and letter to APS Users (M. Sutton, Tischler, Barr).

Close Out:

M. Sutton reported briefly on the discussions regarding the APSUO dedication gift, wording on the citation, timing of the next Users Meeting, and APSUO Steering Committee election process. Moncton recommended that Russ Huebner be recruiting to produce a final draft or drafts of the citation text to be distributed by e-mail to Steering Committee members for approval.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee will be held on Thursday, July 11, 1996, in Bldg. 401 (APS Central Laboratory/Office Bldg.), Room A5000, Argonne National Laboratory. (Note: Change from original schedule.)