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In this issue:
People: Vladimir Vinetskiy
Downtime for the LCLS
Where's the Fire?

SLAC Today

Wednesday - March 4, 2009

People: Vladimir Vinetskiy

(Photo - Vladimir Vinetskiy)
Vladimir Vinetskiy. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman. Click for larger image.)

Vladimir Vinetskiy is becoming an expert in the unknown. That's because, as an electronics engineer in the Structural Molecular Biology division of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Vinetskiy makes electronics to order. More often than not, the project in his inbox will look like none of the 600 schematics and printed circuit boards he's designed in the last 12 years.

"It's very intellectually challenging," Vinetskiy said. "You get asked to do things that are not connected to anything you did before."

Vinetskiy and his fellow team members provide the equipment, instruments and expertise that make the SSRL such a powerful tool for scientists. Because SSRL users are working with a nonstop flow of X-rays, they have to be able to adjust their experiments from outside the beamline. Vinetskiy and his technicians make this possible; their electronics command scores of motors within the X-ray beamline, allowing users to change samples, reposition mirrors and detectors, and operate cameras from the outside. Vinetskiy and his technicians built from scratch the banks of electronics currently humming away in seven of SSRL's beamlines, and each piece was tailor-made to user needs.  Read more...

Downtime for the LCLS

Machinery up and down the last third of the linear accelerator fell silent Monday morning when the Linac Coherent Light Source shut off for three weeks of scheduled downtime.

"There's an incredible amount of work that we are pressing to accomplish during this downtime," said LCLS Associate Laboratory Director Dale Knutson. "This is a big deal for us."

The latent period will last from 6:00 a.m. March 2 to March 23, according to LCLS Accelerator Systems Division Director John Seeman. The main goal during this time is to install 18 to 20 of an eventual 33 LCLS undulators, rows of polarized magnets that force electrons to wiggle side to side and emit X-rays. Once the undulators are in place, the LCLS will be capable of producing free-electron laser X-rays, with initial tests in April and "first light" expected later this year.

A second aim is to test the Personnel Protection System for the accelerator, comprising devices that shut down the beamline in case of an unauthorized entry. After the downtime period, the systems will be ready for the full run through the end of 2009, Seeman said.

The downtime activities will also include "a myriad of little maintenance items to make the machine run better," notes Seeman. The team is meticulously organized, with every hour of the next three weeks carefully planned. Seeman added, "Everybody defines their job, reviews safety, where they're going, and what support departments they'll need."

(Photo - firetrucks outside the LCLS)
Fire engines from local stations arrive at the LCLS Near Experimental Hall. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman. Click for larger image.)

Where's the Fire?

SLACers may have noticed an increase in fire engine traffic on site yesterday, as firefighters from Palo Alto, Woodside and Menlo Park stations arrived to take an emergency response orientation tour of the Linac Coherent Light Source. The firefighters walked about three miles, familiarizing themselves with the entrances, fire response systems and electrical and radiation hazards in the LCLS tunnel.

(Photo - firefighters in the LCLS Beam Transport Hall)
Woodside and Palo Alto firefighters walk through the Beam Transport Hall. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman. Click for larger image.)

"Because this is such a large, unusual structure, and any of these people could show up in a serious emergency, we want them all to be familiar with it," said Ralph Kerwin, the SLAC Fire Marshal. "This is standard procedure for an unusual new building."

Kerwin coordinated with LCLS management to run the tours with a minimum disruption to downtime work. "It's good for firefighters to see work going on, since the worst case scenario would be a fire occurring during downtime while people are in there," he said.

The tours will continue on Thursday, March 5 and Friday, March 13. Two tours will take place each day, 9:30–11:30 a.m. and 1:30–3:30 p.m. Expect to see more fire engines.


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