It’s hard to believe that this year is already half over. The past six months have seen a whirlwind of activity and accomplishment here at the APS Upgrade Project.
We got great news in February, when we achieved a key project milestone – formal notification of Critical Decision 1 (CD-1) approval from the U.S. Department of Energy. This important step reflects the DOE consensus that our technical design is sound, that the estimated cost range and proposed schedule are credible, and that our management team has the skills and experience to execute the project capably. This success reflects many months of concentrated effort, both by our own team and by the many external advisors and reviewers who offered insights from a wide range of institutions and disciplines.
We got more good news in June when the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) released the recommendations of the BES Facility Upgrade Prioritization Subcommittee. In their report, the committee members assessed the APS-U as “absolutely central” to U.S. research in energy, environment, and national security, and noted that the Project is “well on its way” and “ready to initiate construction.” The report also underscored the importance of the multi-bend achromat (MBA) lattice that is at heart of this Upgrade; with implementation of this new technology, the report said, APS “will leap ahead of other competing facilities worldwide and will remain in a leadership position for the foreseeable future.”
We just completed the selection process that will define our beamline scope, to ensure that the Upgrade’s new best-in-class beamlines support our users’ scientific priorities. The beamline selection process began in October with a call for whitepapers, drawing 36 proposals by the January 25 deadline. Of those, 14 were selected for full proposals; ultimately, nine proposals were selected for inclusion in the Project’s proposed beamline scope.
Looking ahead, the Department of Energy has scheduled a Critical Decision (CD) 3b review for July 26-28. With this review, we are requesting approval for long-lead/advanced procurements through CD-3. These reviews require a huge amount of planning and preparation, and I am tremendously impressed with the work the APS-U team is doing to keep this effort on track and ensure that we deliver this facility on time and on budget.
We still have a long way to go. But the achievements of these past few months demonstrate that we are well on our way to completing this Upgrade and meeting the scientific needs of the Advanced Photon Source’s 5,000+ academic, laboratory, and industrial researchers for decades to come.