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

APS Upgrade Update: Schedule changes and project milestones

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is more than halfway over. It’s been a year of tremendous progress for the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Upgrade project as it moves closer to installing the new storage ring and constructing the new feature and enhanced beamlines that will improve research capabilities and keep this facility at the forefront of global X-ray science.

The biggest news for APS users is that the start of the year-long installation period has been pushed back to April 17, 2023. This is a delay of 10 months from the original start date, and the delay is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the project. The pandemic has caused issues with supplying components and parts to Argonne for the project, and with most of the laboratory’s staff working remotely during the limited operations phase, it is also delaying important work that needs to be done on site.

Pushing the start of the installation period back means that users will get a full year of APS operations in 2022, and at least an abbreviated run at the start of 2023. The storage ring installation period is still planned to only last one year during which time the APS will be shut down and inaccessible to users. The upgraded APS is scheduled to restart with the commissioning of beamlines in April 2024, before a similar upgrade at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is scheduled to begin, in 2025.

The announcement of the delay was made at the APS/CNM Annual Users Meeting, held virtually in May. At this meeting, leaders of the APS and APS Upgrade project held a Q&A session with users, answering questions about the project’s scope and timing and the science the upgraded APS will enable. A document summarizing the answers to these questions (and more) has been posted online.

This document will be updated periodically, so if you would like to send in a question for consideration, please submit it to

The contract for the enclosure work on the feature and enhanced beamlines has been awarded, and a schedule for construction of those beamlines has been created. A few of the beamlines receiving major upgrades will shut down before the APS does, and that information will be communicated as soon as it is finalized. Check the APS Upgrade website for the latest information.

The APS Upgrade marked a unique milestone this spring. With the arrival of the first Q8 quadrupole magnet, the upgrade project now has at least one of every type of magnet that will make up the new storage ring. Currently  nearly 1,000 of the 1,321 magnets needed are on site.

Project workers completed the first assembly of a cryomodule for the bunch lengthening system for the upgrade. This system houses a superconducting cavity that can increase the lifetime of the electron beam in the storage ring, which will address the need to inject more electrons into the ring more often. This system will be installed as part of the storage ring installation and will be tested rigorously before then.

There has been a tremendous amount of progress on the construction of the Long Beamline Building (LBB), which will house two of the new feature beamlines: the In Situ Nanoprobe (ISN) and the High-Energy X-ray Microscope (HEXM). ISN will enable in situ and operando experiments with a tightly focused beam and a large working distance, while HEXM will use high-energy X-ray beams to peer into thick samples under a variety of conditions.

As can be seen in the accompanying photos, the LBB is taking shape. All of the underground plumbing and electrical work is done, the concrete foundation is complete, and the skeleton of the building is going up. In addition, the design of the enclosure for HEXM has begun. The HEXM enclosure will start construction in May 2022.

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