It’s an old cliché that time either speeds up or slows down as you approach an anticipated event. I can tell you that as we get closer to the April 2023 shutdown date for the Advanced Photon Source (APS), the days seem to be going by more quickly. Here we are at the end of 2022, with just more than 100 days to go before user operations cease on April 17.
The closing of a year provides a nice opportunity to look back over the accomplishments of the past 12 months, as we prepare for the momentous year ahead. The Upgrade team accomplished an amazing amount in 2022, while working through the effects of supply chain-related delays. These challenges were met with ingenious creativity and dogged determination by the team, finding solutions to potential issues each time. As always, I continue to be amazed by, and grateful for, the people I get to work with each and every day, both from Argonne’s Photon Sciences group and from across the laboratory, whose efforts advance the Upgrade project. To read about some of these folks and their extraordinary talents, look no further than our People of the APS Upgrade series on the project website.
What did we do this year? Well, we started 2022 by putting our new superconducting magnets and bunch lengthening system through their first cold tests, and by practicing the move of one of the plinths that will hold the 200 modules of magnets, vacuum systems and other components that will make up the new electron storage ring. Speaking of those modules, we continued our work to assemble and align them, and we ended the year with 183 partially completed modules. If you want to see what all those modules look like in our offsite storage facility, check out this video we posted last month.
In June we took occupancy of the Long Beamline Building (LBB), the most externally visible sign of the upgrade’s progress, and in July we hosted the Secretary of Energy for a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Work has continued inside the LBB, which will house two new beamlines that sit a considerable distance from the X-ray source. The enclosure for the High Energy X-ray Microscope (HEXM) is nearly complete, and work is beginning on the enclosure for the In Situ Nanoprobe (ISN).
Speaking of the beamlines, the first APS Upgrade-funded beamline enhancement – a new RIXS spectrometer at 27-ID – became available to the user community this year. The spectroscopy programs at sectors 7, 11 and 20 were relocated into the previously empty Sector 25, and this new home for users of these techniques will be up and running before long. And we began the deconstruction of the 8-ID and 9-ID beamlines, to make way for two new feature beamlines: X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS) at 8-ID and Coherent Surface Scattering Imaging (CSSI) at 9-ID.
In November we successfully completed several months of reviews of the project, assessing our readiness to safely begin the installation period in April. These reviews were all positive and encouraging. We’re ending the year with the first installations of the new vacuum systems into the modules that will make up the new storage ring. This is the last step before these modules are tested and considered ready to be moved into the APS and installed. Pretty exciting!
On a personal note, this past year saw important management transitions as well – I was named project director, and Elmie Peoples-Evans was named project manager. It’s an honor for us to lead this project as we get ready to turn the corner and begin installing the new storage ring. We realize, more than ever, the importance of the upgraded APS to positioning the nation at the forefront of science and technology. We thank you for all of your support of the APS and the upgrade.
Before I leave you, I have one last holiday gift for you. Here is a video of the director of the Advanced Photon Source, Laurent Chapon, talking about the APS Upgrade and what it will mean for the scientific advancements of the future. You can find this video along with all the latest information about the APS Upgrade at the project’s website.
Happy holidays to all who celebrate. Thank you again, and we’ll talk in the new year. Onward to 2023!
Director, APS Upgrade Project