SLAC Today is available online at:
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In this issue:
From the Director: The Accelerator Directorate Stands Up
Messages from the Directors and Acting Directors of LCLS, the Accelerator Division, PPA and SSRL
Editor's Note: FGST Dark Matter Update

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 29, 2009

From the Director:
The Accelerator Directorate Stands Up

(Photo - Persis Drell)

SLAC is one of three National Accelerator Laboratories in the U.S. As such, we have a special responsibility to wisely manage and steward our accelerator resources for the benefit not just of SLAC, but for the national program. Back on June 3, when I announced the new LCLS director, I wrote that I had asked Dale Knutson to help with the formation of a new Accelerator Directorate. Dale led a series of discussions and planning sessions throughout June and July, and we are now ready to roll out the new organization.

My overarching goal in this reorganization is to ensure that SLAC accelerator core capabilities are managed for the benefit of the laboratory as a whole and a shared long term vision, rather than just optimizing locally for individual programs. I also want to ensure that accelerator research and accelerator operations are tied together and mutually supportive. Finally, I want to make sure that the accelerator resources both support the current programs and also position the laboratory for its long term future.  Read more...

(Photo - Joachim Stöhr)

From the Director of LCLS

As LCLS Director, the key part of my day-to-day job, or "mission," is to enable and support forefront scientific research based on ultrashort, high peak brightness X-rays by a broad user community in a safe environment. Another important aspect of my job—the "vision"—is to keep the Linac Coherent Light Source at the international forefront.

The LCLS mission requires two key competencies: reliable operation of the SLAC linac and user support on the experimental floor. LCLS day-to-day operation is actually defined "bottom-up," that is, it begins with the end user, who requests what is needed for a given experiment in terms of instrumentation and X-ray properties, i.e., the X-ray energy, intensity, pulse length, spot size, polarization, etc. To accommodate the user needs involves staff on the experimental floor as well as the SLAC linac operations team.  Read more...

From the Acting Director
of the Accelerator Directorate

(Photo - Dale Knutson)

The new Accelerator Directorate represents a big change for staff at SLAC both in the way we think about the laboratory and how we represent ourselves to the communities around us. However, it's important for staff to recognize that these changes affect management structure and how we align organizationally. These changes will be low impact when it comes to accelerator science and key technologies, the day-to-day business of delivering beams to users, and conducting world-leading R&D in accelerator science.

Most staff will see very little change in the work they are doing, the people they interact with, the processes they use to do their jobs, and the daily pace of work. The largest changes will be reflected in how senior management works, and how we define and measure effectiveness in beam delivery.  Read more...

From the Director
of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

(Photo - David MacFarlane)

The reorganization announced today represents a significant change for the Particle Physics and Astrophysics Directorate. Accelerator research is a foundation for future high-energy physics facilities that will enable our science, and therefore a key element of the Department or Energy Office of High Energy Physics program here at SLAC. However, I believe that the creation of the Accelerator Directorate brings many advantages and opportunities both for our HEP program and the long-term health of the laboratory. In particular, it brings all the advantages of a more integrated, optimized and consolidated accelerator operations core capability, addressing the full suite of onsite user and research facilities. The new organization also ties the research community more closely to operations, while creating an environment where accelerator researchers can more seamlessly respond to the twin challenges of optimizing performance of existing facilities and fostering the innovation underlying future electron-based accelerators.  Read more...

From the Acting Director of SSRL

(Photo - Piero Pianetta)

From its beginnings, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource has had a dual relationship with the rest of SLAC. On the one hand, because SSRL was not doing high energy physics and SLAC was a single purpose laboratory, SSRL was in many ways forced to be independent and develop its own resources. However, SSRL's very existence depended on SLAC's tremendous resources, ranging from shops to the SPEAR ring itself.

As SSRL grew and eventually took over the operation of SPEAR and became part of SLAC, it developed around a vertically integrated model where most of the required resources were located within SSRL. Of course, SLAC resources for the big things were always available and gladly used. With SPEAR3, SSRL reached out even more. Many of the designs used in SPEAR3 to allow high current operation were the result of developments for the PEP-II collider, and more relationships between SSRL and the technical groups in other SLAC directorates were forged. This mode of operation has served SSRL very well over the years, enabling us to achieve up-times of over 98% this year, which is outstanding for a synchrotron radiation source. SSRL is now poised to realize the full benefits of SPEAR3 with the completion of the beamline upgrade project, successful implementation of top-off injection and receiving approval to deliver beams at currents up to 200 mA for the first time during this run cycle.  Read more...

Your Input to the Directors

Your ideas and responses to the new directorate announcements are welcome. Please indicate which director or directors you wish to address.

Editor's Note: FGST Dark Matter Update

Members of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope collaboration have added noteworthy comments on the Nature News story about dark matter linked in Monday's e-mail version of SLAC Today. Please see the reader feedback directly below the story in Nature News.

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