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In this issue:
Getting Beam to the LCLS: A Day in the Main Control Center
Two SLAC Graduate Students Awarded Office of Science Fellowships
Decadal Survey to Be Released Tomorrow
SLAC Brings in Ethanol 'Flex Fuel'

SLAC Today

Thursday - August 12, 2010

Getting Beam to the LCLS:
A Day in the Main Control Center

LCLS operators at work in the Main Control Center. (Photo by Lauren Rugani.)

Just after 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, people begin shuffling in to the conference room in SLAC's Main Control Center: operators, engineers, instrument scientists and users eager to start their experiments at the Linac Coherent Light Source.

The briefing starts at 4:15. Researchers give a short explanation of the science behind their proposed experiments, and outline the specific beam parameters they need to conduct them. Beginning on August 5, users on the Atomic, Molecular and Optical science instrument take the morning shift. At night, the beam moves to the Soft X-ray instrument.

It's up to the team of operators at the MCC to facilitate this transition between experiments twice a day and deliver a high-quality beam for each experimental shift. Of a dozen or so accelerator settings, the biggest difference between this week's experiments is the X-ray energy level; the AMO research needs a 2-kiloelectronvolt beam, while the SXR study calls for 930 eV.

"This is a pretty easy transition," said Mike Stanek, supervisor of the engineering operators-in-charge at the MCC. "Both groups are operating at about the same charge. When we have to switch between high and low charge, the transitions can take a few hours."

Read more...

Two SLAC Graduate Students Awarded Office of Science Fellowships

Office of Science Graduate Fellows Alex Drlica-Wagner (left) and John Goodfellow. (Photos courtesy Alex Drlica-Wagner and John Goodfellow, respectively.)

New program supports upcoming scientists from diverse disciplines.

Two SLAC graduate students are among 150 from institutions nationwide to receive Office of Science Graduate Fellowship awards as part of a new Department of Energy program. The fellowships will provide three years of research support to SLAC recipients Alex Drlica-Wagner, who works with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and John Goodfellow, who performs research at the PULSE Institute for Ultrafast Energy Science and Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science.

"The exceptionally talented students selected as graduate fellows are part of our nation's next generation of scientific and technical leaders," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in the award announcement last week. "This investment in the training of scientists and engineers is part of the Administration's continued effort to ensure that America has the scientific and engineering workforce we need to secure our energy future and our continued economic competitiveness."

The fellowship provides each awardee with partial tuition support, an annual stipend for living expenses, and a research stipend for full-time graduate study and thesis work at a U.S. academic institution for three years. Fellowships awarded in the first year of the DOE SCGF program will be funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Read more...

Decadal Survey to Be Released Tomorrow

Webcast screening in Kavli third floor conference room

(Photo)
Supernova remnant RCW 86. (Image courtesy of ESO/E. Helder and NASA/Chandra.)

The National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council will release Astro2010, the council's ranking of priorities in U.S. astronomy and astrophysics, at 8 a.m. tomorrow. The report, also known as the decadal survey, will be both posted to the National Academies Web site and discussed in a webcast hosted by committee members. The webcast, which will not be accessible online, will be screened in the Kavli Building's third floor conference room between 8 and 9:30 a.m. on Friday. Seating is limited, so please arrive early.

The decadal survey, which is conducted every 10 years, assesses the field of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics, and recommends priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities of the decade 2010–2020.

SLAC Brings in Ethanol 'Flex Fuel'

The SLAC Facilities Division has upgraded the SLAC on-site fueling station to dispense E85/Ethanol "flex fuel." The upgrade is part of a continuing effort to save energy and lower our greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously supporting the Presidential Executive Order to decrease the use of fossil fuels and increase the use of alternative fuels.

This station now has the ability to fuel not only the Department of Energy equipment but also the gasoline-poweredand flex-fueled, GSA-leased fleet. This will allow drivers of these fleet vehicles to fuel on the SLAC campus, avoiding the need to go off-site for fuel.

Of the 182 conventionally powered vehicles in the SLAC fleet, there are 50 flex-fuel vehicles in operation across the lab. Flex fuel vehicles can easily be identified by their yellow fuel caps. The Facilities Division is requesting that drivers of these vehicles fuel at the SLAC Station with E85/ethanol only, to support the Presidential Executive Order. If your vehicle does not have a yellow fuel cap, then continue to fuel with regular unleaded gasoline.

The station, located between Buildings 35 and 81, is open for use from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Directions for fueling are posted at the location. In case of a fuel spill, there is a spill containment kit at that location. If any spill occurs while fueling your vehicle, contain the spill and call the Environment, Safety & Health Hot Line (x5555).

If you have any questions, please contact Fleet Services (x8795 or x3186).

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