Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting
Argonne National Laboratory
October 26, 2006

Steering Committee Attendees: S. Billinge, K. Brister, P. Evans, M. Firestone, T. Gog, B. Golden, T. Graber, G. Ice, L. Lurio, A. Mulichak, D. Reis, C. Thompson, and W. Smith.

APS Attendees: M. Beno, M. Borland, R. Gerig, J. M. Gibson, J. Quintana, G. Srajer, S. Strasser, and M. Vigliocco-Hagen

Routine Business:

The minutes from the August 9, 2006, APSUO Steering Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved as written.

APS Update
Murray Gibson presented a graph on the APS User History, showing how the user population has grown over the past 10 years. The total for FY06 was 3,274 individual users actually on site at the APS to conduct experiments.

Gibson outlined the proposed changes/upgrades to various sectors around the ring. He also announced that there will be eight sector reviews in 2007. These reviews are planned to be more science-based, similar to the cross-cut reviews conducted at the time of the Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting held in January of each year.

Gibson also discussed the storage ring temperature control issue. Stability in this area is necessary. There is money available to improve this problem in the storage ring tunnel only. The experiment hall is much more difficult.

The budget for FY07 is still under the Continuing Resolution.

Gibson also announced that the initial electrical equipment inventory is due in December, but the complete review and approval process could take as long as four years to complete.

The Inspector General Report on proprietary fees has gone to the DOE Argonne Site Office for management response. The report argues for a 2006 retroactive increase to a rate based on actual hours and beamlines. The APS proposal for a phased increase appears to be acceptable to the Argonne Site Office and the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences. This would mean an ~20% increase this year and next.

Gibson talked about the APS Upgrade Machine Advisory Committee and what will be discussed at its first meeting scheduled on November 15-16, 2006. It will be a closed meeting.

Upgrade Planning Report
Michael Borland outlined the pros and cons of the two possibilities under consideration for the APS Upgrade. The options being considered at the time are either an upgrade of the present storage ring or the Energy-Recovery Linac (ERL) option. The strengths and weaknesses of each of these options are being reviewed.

The benefits of the storage ring upgrade are that it is a well-known technology, and it offers long straight sections with possibly three times the number of IDs. Also, it offers smaller horizontal beam size (~120 microns), improved brightness (10~100x), and support for ps pulses and large-area coherent imaging. The downside of the storage ring upgrade is that lattice flexibility is very difficult to achieve, there is considerable dark time required for installation, and brightness improvement is disappointing.

The ERL option offers a large new user arc, space for long undulators, and minimal disturbance of existing APS injector and operations; however, the complex transport lines needed to get beam into and out of ring may create issues for emittance preservation, and the linac, and the new arc are somewhat cramped. Borland also offered outfield and infield options and the pros and cons associated with each.

Washington Visit Report/Advocacy
Gene Ice briefed the group on the latest on advocacy issues and spoke of the areas that should be emphasized when discussing this topic -- competitiveness, physical science, and industrial applications. Ice stressed the importance of including a representative from industry on the advocacy trips to Washington in the future. He feels that this would add credibility to the importance of the advocacy issue. It was also suggested that a visit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would be useful. It may be helpful to communicate with OMB after the November election this year. If any Steering Committee members have suggestions as to who could be a representative, please send suggestions to Gene Ice. The message has to get to Congress and OMB regarding the need for additional funding. Ice will make an effort to talk with Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) to further discuss this need.

Keith Brister updated the group on the technical aspects of the e-mail advocacy program that was discussed at the last Steering Committee Meeting. He reported that there are 5,139 user postal addresses with e-mail addresses. A license to use the September 2006 edition of the Congressional District Database that includes Zip+4 entries was purchased. As of this time, 80% of the e-mailable users have been matched to a Congressional District. The next step in this process is to write the letter that could go out to all of the users.

General User Program Changes
Susan Strasser discussed the latest enhancements to the General User Proposal System. She reported that all proposals are now valid for two years or until the PRP-recommended number of shifts have been used. The new project proposal status allows for predictable, reliable access to beam time over more than one cycle with no need to submit a beam time request each cycle. Strasser went on to stress that the project proposal approval will be granted very sparingly and that additional levels (PRP and SAC subcommittee) of review and approval will apply. A new question, why does this proposal warrant project status, will be added to the questions tab. Individual proposals that received time or were scheduled time in 2006-3 will expire. Individual proposals not receiving time are grandfathered. That is, they will remain active for five more cycles or until PRP-recommended shifts have been used. The existing aging rules will apply to these proposals. Program proposals already in the system will expire according to old system rules (when six cycles have elapsed).

Steering Committee Business
The group discussed the next Users Meeting scheduled for May 7-11, 2007. Tim Graber provided a tentative schedule for review. The discussions focused on workshop topics, and members were asked to send workshop suggestions to Graber. Discussions also took place regarding nominees for the next election process. Members were asked to send suggestions for nominees to Paul Evans.

Next User Meeting:

The next APSUO Steering Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2006.