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AMO Moves In

The first science instrument for the Linac Coherent Light Source was moved into its experimental hutch yesterday, marking a major milestone in preparing the Linac Coherent Light Source for its first wave of users this September. A team of riggers and vacuum assembly staff moved the Atomic, Molecular and Optical instrument from the Mechanical Fabrication Department Vacuum Shop to the Near Experimental Hall, Hutch 1.

The instrument was delivered via forklift and flatbed truck in two pieces, each weighing about 3,000 pounds. Workers moved the instrument at a snail-like pace, not wanting to jostle the complex piece of equipment.

For the staff of the MFD Vacuum Shop, the event was three months in the making. Technicians worked under a tight deadline to make sure that the instrument would be ready on time.

"The plan from day one was to install those two devices today," MFD Vacuum Systems Manager Matt Hayes said. "That made it pretty challenging."

Moving the instrument is only the first part of the project. Technicians still need to perform alignments and prepare additional components—a process that Hayes said could take up to two months to complete.

When the work is finished, the instrument will allow users to study how the LCLS beamline interacts with matter and observe molecular events on the atomic scale.

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The vacuum assembly team moves the first half of the AMO instrument out of the clean room to be loaded onto a truck.
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Rigging workers carefully move a forklift into position beneath the AMO instrument.
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Rigging workers place the AMO chamber onto a flatbed for transport to the Near Experimental Hall.
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Workers secure the instrument to the truck.
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The second half of the AMO instrument in transit on PEP Ring Road, on its way to the Near Experimental Hall.

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Workers move the AMO instrument from the freight elevator toward the experimental hutch in the Near Experimental Hall.
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Both halves of the AMO instrument are now inside their new home, ready for installation.

—Nicholas Bock, photos by Brad Plummer
  SLAC Today, June 3, 2009