The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

APS Upgrade Update: September 2023

As the weather starts to cool down outside, the progress on the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Upgrade is continuing to heat up. I have a lot of updates for you this month, and all of them are a testament to the incredible team we have working on this project.

First, we have officially installed more than two-thirds of the modules of the new APS electron storage ring. When it’s completed, the full ring will be made up of 1,321 magnets assembled into 200 sturdy modules, and since mid-July our team has been moving those modules — many of which weigh up to 25 tons each — from our offsite facility to the APS storage ring tunnel. There they are carefully positioned so that the centers of the magnets precisely line up with one another.

A couple weeks ago the team installed their 100th module, and they’ve just kept going since. With modules in place, we’ve been able to move front ends into the tunnel (50 out of 54 needed) and begin aligning those, making vacuum and electrical connections as we go. We now have 19 full sectors (five modules each) completely connected with test and checkout rapidly approaching, and that’s a remarkable milestone.

We’re also coming closer to completing the assembly of 200 modules we will need, with more than 180 finished and ready to go. It continues to be a testament to the team that with each challenge, a solution is found and work replanned to keep us on schedule. As we progress on the storage ring, front end work has increased, and our experimental floor efforts are increasing as well.

If you want to see what the journey of just one of those 200 modules looks like from loading it on the truck to installing it at the APS, check out the short video below.


 It’s a similar situation when it comes to the beamlines. Work is progressing well on several of the new feature beamlines, which will enable experiments that take full advantage of the improvements we’re making to the X-ray beams. New mirror systems have been installed at 2-ID and 4-ID (see the photos below). The new Small-Angle X-ray Scattering flight tube — one of the first major new components to be installed on a feature beamline — is in place at 8-ID. And the two beamlines (the High-Energy X-ray Microscope and the In Situ Nanoprobe) in progress in the Long Beamline Building are very quickly taking shape.


 But the most visible beamline work, for those who happen to be here at the APS, has been the arrival and the installation of the Grand Tube at 9-ID. This enclosure is 20 meters long and three meters wide, and when it’s complete it will help to enable nanometer-level 3-D resolution at the Coherent Surface Scattering Imaging (CSSI) feature beamline. The Grand Tube arrived from the vendor in four sections, each in its own crate.


Earlier this month, our team uncrated the four sections and, slowly and safely, began bringing them down to 9-ID and installing them.


We’ll have more for you to look at next month, when the installation is complete and the Grand Tube has taken its place on the new APS experiment floor.

There’s more, of course. With a project this size, there’s always more. It’s a privilege to be part of this team, and to see every day how everyone involved is bringing the new APS to life — and doing so safely. I know some beamlines have already begun the process of returning to operation, and as a reminder, every beamline will need to follow the procedures outlined on this web page before turning back on.

As always, the most up-to-date information about the APS Upgrade will be posted on the website. Thank you for reading and please stay safe.

Until next time,

Jim Kerby
Director, APS Upgrade Project


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