Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on October 28, 1999, at Argonne National Laboratory


R. Alkire, M. Antonio, D. Chapman, S. Dierker, P. Eng, P. Fenter, J. Galayda (APS Update and Close Out only), S. Heald, E. Isaacs, D. Keane, D. Mills (APS Update and Close Out only), D. Moncton (APS Update and Close Out only), C. Pittroff, T. Rauchas (APS Update and Close Out only), S. Strasser, J. Tischler (ex officio), and P. Zschack

Routine Business:

Minutes of the July 8, 1999, meeting were approved (with one correction), and the action items were reviewed. The topic of special operating modes/policy issues was moved from the Executive Session to the APS Update and Reports to enable the Committee to direct questions to Tony Rauchas.

APS Update and Reports:

APS Update: ohn Galayda presented before and after organization charts for the newly reorganized APS. Galayda announced that Marty Knott is now the acting division director for the Accelerator Systems Division. An international search for a permanent director is currently underway; any recommendations should be submitted to Glenn Decker, chair of the search committee.

The APS operating budget for FY 2000 was presented. The APS actual funding is $86M compared to the requested $107.0M. Galayda predicted a tight year financially. Construction of a new LOM, beamline front ends, and undulators, and expansion of the chiller facility are needed to keep up with the growth of the APS user community; funds for these infrastructure items, however, are not in the budget.

Currently, the APS has 24 sectors allocated to 17 CATs through MOUs. Additional sectors are being requested through new proposals. They include two proposals already approved by the PEB: Northeast Region CAT (NE-CAT) and Structural Genomics CAT (SGX-CAT). Letters of intent (LOI) have been approved for Molecular Biology CAT (MB-CAT) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences/National Cancer Institute CAT (GM/CA-CAT). Five new requests for guidelines for LOIs have also been received.

Galayda then presented statistics on APS users and experiments conducted by fiscal year. He noted that the biological and life sciences are growing areas. He also showed the FY 2000 operations schedule, noting that Tony Rauchas would be discussing the schedule in more detail during his presentation. For FY 1999, user operations accounted for 57.7% of scheduled beam time (studies used 16.1% and maintenance used 26.2% of scheduled time). Studies availability increased from 73.6% in FY 1998 to 91.1% in FY 1999, indicating that the machine is coming out of shut downs with greater efficiency. In a complementary manner, the time used for machine intervention decreased from 112.4 hours in FY 1998 to 87.6 hours in FY 1999. Galayda explained that the various ASD-related groups are given "budgets" for unavailability. These budgets (which have not yet been finalized for FY 2000) are in keeping with the facility goals of 95% availability and a mean time to beam failure of 50 hours. The systems most frequently causing difficulties are the power supplies (there are more than 2000 power supplies at the APS) and the rf system (which has seen much improvement over the past year). Galayda reviewed a detailed run statistics table summarizing availability and faults for the entire FY 1999. He noted the first 200 hour run and the impact of power outage events on the statistics.

Galayda reviewed recent advances toward top-up operation at the APS. The internal readiness review (led by Rod Gerig) was completed in May 1999. Operation using fill-on-fill with shutters open began in May, and radiation levels of less than 3 mrad/hour (a normal rate) were measured near 3-ID during the fills. Ten minutes of 10-3 current control were then introduced during the morning fills. Experimenters with "fast" detectors found they could use the inhibit signal to manage their data acquisition. Users with integrating detectors did not find the ten minute test periods useful for problem solving. APS personnel will be investigating potential techniques for x-ray data collection during top-up operations.

Forty reviewers from the DOE will be present at ANL February 7-18, 2000, to verify the laboratory's implementation of the ISM system, the Integrated Safety Management system. Galayda defined ISM and reviewed the seven guiding principles and the five core functions of the system. He emphasized that this is a common-sense system promoting the idea that safety issues should be approached and managed the same way that other technical and managerial issues are handled. More detailed information will be distributed to the CATs in preparation for the review, which will take place during a user operations period. The group was reminded that all users should know whom they should contact for answers to safety-related questions. An article will be included in the upcoming issue of CAT Communicator to reinforce the important aspects of ISM as it relates to APS users.

Implementation plans for top-off: Denny Mills reviewed the technical reasons for pursuing top-up operations at the APS (an outline of the presentation is attached to these minutes). In addition to the benefits of improved thermal stability for both optics and the accelerator and increased operational flexibility for the accelerator, top-up operation will provide a more constant background level (beneficial to low-count-rate experiments). Considerable discussion ensued about the impact of top-up operations. The perception among users is that top-up will not offer any added benefit; however, the users are very pleased with the fill-on-fill operation currently in place. Additionally, the group told Mills that beam stability issues overshadow some of the more sample-dependent factors discussed. More discussion ensued about the effect of top-up on experiments involving rotating samples (e.g., protein crystallography experiments). In general, the group expressed support for the approach outlined for the continued investigation of top-up. It was noted that the TWG's top-up subgroup (chaired by John Quintana, DND-CAT) would be a good resource for Mills for further discussion on the subject.

FY 2000 operations schedule and plans: Tony Rauchas told the group that at the last RD meeting, CAT directors were asked to provide input on the FY 2000 operating schedule. Five CATs responded; for most of the respondents, the big issue was scheduling user run time over holidays. Respondents felt that scheduling over holidays resulted in ineffective use of the beam because staff are often not available. It was felt that the burden of holiday operations should be shared between the users and machine studies times. Rauchas stated that all comments received were carefully considered. The schedule was shifted to change user operations time to a two-day studies period during the Labor Day holiday.

Special Operating Modes - policy issues: The concept of special operating modes (SOMs) began approximately two years ago. SOMs are scheduled for the last week of each run and are intended to offer a change of fill pattern as requested by the users via a request form. All SOM requests, which must be approved by the originating CAT, must support 100 mA operation (single bunch is no longer offered for that reason). When an SOM request is received, it is first evaluated from the perspective of "can the accelerator achieve the fill pattern?" If the pattern is achievable, it will be discussed with the TWG, the user community, etc. Rauchas showed a chart comparing the timing between singlets, triplets, and the hybrid mode currently in use. This information on timing comparisons will be posted on the Web. The hybrid SOM will the pattern used for one week after each run until another viable SOM request is received. The goal is to eventually get rid of the group of six timing bunches, to shorten the gap time from 400 ns to 200 ns (and eventually down to 150 ns), and to increase the number of buckets.

(Note: Additional discussion during the Executive Session emphasized the desire to ensure that all groups are getting a fair opportunity to request SOMs and that communication between the APS and the user community regarding SOM operation is maintained.)

David Moncton spoke briefly to the group about the current state of the DOE system (including ANL and the APS) highlighting recent events, staffing changes, and other topics of interest. He reported that Gopal Shenoy is doing well and is expected to be back at the APS in early January. Moncton also briefly discussed the current status of fourth-generation-related experiments and work.

Executive Session:

Tenth Users Meeting planning: Susan Strasser asked the group to review the draft first announcement flyer in their meeting packets. Minor changes need to be made, including moving the poster session to the afternoon of Tuesday, May 2 (suggested time 5:00-7:00 p.m.). The poster session will be held in conjunction with a reception, and the group agreed that a tent connected to the lunch tent outside of the Gallery would be a viable location. The posters could then be left up for attendees to view throughout the meeting. The three winners of the poster session (selected solely on the basis of outstanding work, not ranked) will be announced Wednesday afternoon before the scientific talks. Possible prizes were discussed. Options include a small award and recognition, an APS tee shirt, or possibly a vendor-sponsored monetary award. The Journal of Synchrotron Radiation may possibly award free subscriptions as prizes. (Perhaps the journal would run an article highlighting the three winners.)

Strasser announced that a new draft order was released by the DOE which may soften the financial blow of restrictions placed on charging registration fees to DOE and DOE contractor employees. The new order would allow registration fees to be charged to DOE and DOE contractor employees for allowable expenses (e.g., rental costs, coffee breaks). Vendor fees and fees from non-DOE attendees are unrestricted and can be used for non-allowable expenses.

Various options were considered for lunches. Busing attendees to the cafeteria and/or Guest House was not considered an attractive option. Strasser indicated that she will look into arranging for off-site catering (e.g., pizza) as a lunch option; possibly the cafeteria or Guest House would set up a satellite in a tent where conference attendees could purchase lunches.

The proposed site for the meeting banquet, the Adler Planetarium, was discussed. The group generally felt that shows in the Star Rider Theater might not be a social enough entertainment option for the evening. Strasser indicated that a visit to the planetarium needs to be planned to better evaluate entertainment options before a final decision is made.

Chairpersons for the list of workshops developed at the July meeting were discussed. The time resolved/ speckle workshop was renamed "Probing Dynamics with X-rays" and will be changed to a full-day workshop on Tuesday. A new half-day workshop called "Microbeams" (suggested organizers are Peter Eng and Steve Heald) will be added to Thursday to accompany the environmental workshop.


Day/Time Slot

APS 101

Dean Haeffner

1/2 day

Tuesday a.m.

APS 201

Ian McNulty
Efim Gluskin

1/2 day

Tuesday p.m.


Biological Studies for the 21st Century

Janet Smith or
Jack Johnson

full day

Tuesday a.m. & p.m.

Environmental Studies

Neil Sturchio

1/2 day

Thursday p.m.


Probing Dynamics with X-rays

Denny Mills + one more

full day

Tuesday a.m. & p.m.

Eight scientific talks need to be scheduled for the meeting. It was suggested that not all eight slots be filled at once; one or two slots should be left open until January to possibly accommodate late-breaking topics of interest.


Suggested Speaker
Topic Area

Gordon Brown


Alan Manceau


Lois Pollack

protein folding

Lida Doloc

solid state/condensed matter

Christi Nelson

advances in magnetic scattering

Tom Irving

biomedical applications

John Budai

materials science/microbeams

Ken Nealson


Jack Johnson

structural biology

Keith Moffat

time-resolved studies

Laurie Marx


Hans Deisenhofer

cutting-edge structural biology

APS Graduate Research Fellowship program: The fellowship program will be announced at the user meeting with details outlined in the meeting program book. Strasser asked the group to review the draft summary included in the meeting packets. The plan is to fund the program 50/50 with DOE and industry funds. The program can be efficiently administered by Harold Myron (DEP). Myron offered some suggestions on the draft summary to make it consistent with the ANL grad program. These suggestions included changing the tuition stipend to $5K (from up to $10K), increasing the 12-month tenure amount to $18K (from $15K), and increasing the prorated monthly allowance to $1.5K (from $1.25K). Applicants will be asked to supply a certificate of APS affiliation and a contact person who can assist with assignment of beam time. Applicants should be either second or third year graduate students; first-year students can apply for research support, but not coursework support. The duration of a fellowship is expected to be three or four years. The User Office will receive applications, check them for completeness, and forward them to a review panel for ranking. The APSUO SC will select awardees on the basis of the rankings, recommendations, and quality of application.

The timeline of the application/award process needs to be keyed to the school semester timeline. Several issues were raised, including the following questions:

  • Should fellowships be limited to U.S. students?
  • Should fellowships be limited to full-time students?
  • What is the tax liability of fellowship funds?
  • What will be the frequency of awards?
  • How is beam time provided for the fellowships relative to the II program?
  • How much prior experimental experience should applicants have, if any?

PEB-related issues: At the most recent PEB review, a few presenters from a predominantly industrial CAT felt that the majority of the review committee did not have an industry-related background, thus adversely impacting the committee's ability to accurately evaluate the accomplishments being presented. It was felt that the value of work leading to technological advances in industry needs to be better recognized by the PEB. Although the group agreed that simply stating that work has had a technological impact is not sufficient, it recognized that the onus to convey the full breadth and importance of such work is on the industrial presenters. The APS has a huge industrial component in its community relative to other DOE-sponsored facilities; in the future, the APS will try to ensure that external reviewers are selected to represent diverse areas.

User interaction with the Accelerator Systems Division: Handouts of a presentation made by John Quintana (DND-CAT) at the University of Chicago review were included in the meeting packets. The need for good communication was the essence of the presentation. It is hoped that the recent reorganization will continue to improve communication. The user community wants to be kept informed when problems occur in the ring (e.g., orbit, stability). It was suggested that all public address announcements also be posted on the television screens. Interest was also expressed in having CAT Chats take on a more technical flavor.

APSUO Nominating Committee: The nominating committee is Denis Keane, Paul Zschack, and Paul Fenter. To help with preparation of a slate, a list of past steering committee members will be given to the nominating committee.

Close Out: Steve Dierker reviewed topics discussed during the Executive Session and outlined the action items.

Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee will be held Thursday, January 13, 2000.

Action Items:

  1. Include an article in the upcoming issue of CAT Communicator to reinforce the important aspects of ISM as it relates to APS users. (S. Strasser and C. Pittroff)
  2. Investigate bringing off-site caterers in for luncheon food during the Tenth Users Meeting. (S. Strasser)
  3. Arrange a visit to the Adler Planetarium for the meeting planning committee to evaluate the site for a banquet. (S. Strasser)
  4. Provide the APSUO nominating committee with a list of past steering committee members. (S. Strasser)
  5. Include an addendum regarding the policy for determination of SOMs to the statement on determining the run schedule. (T. Rauchas)