Crucial work on the APS Upgrade (APS-U) continues as an essential component of Argonne’s limited operations following Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.
That work is limited to necessary personnel and activities for fulfilling project milestones in the near term, including receiving and processing production magnets and power supplies. The current on-site focus is only on acceptance tests of equipment that had just arrived, or was in transit at the time of the Laboratory switching to minimum safe conditions. These activities were authorized only after ensuring work could be done with required social distancing, and safely. The overwhelming majority of the APS-U staff, like Argonne as a whole, is telecommuting for now.
“In a massive undertaking like the APS Upgrade, you always plan for a little flexibility within your project management time frame, but this is certainly way out of the box as to what we built into those plans,” said Jim Kerby, chief project officer for the APS-U. “Although we never imagined a pandemic of this magnitude, we are doing our best to adapt. Most importantly we are staying in close contact with our industrial partners. This affects them as well, and we need to work together to keep everyone healthy first and foremost, and then to keep things rolling as best as possible.”
The current APS-U installation schedule has the APS suspending operations for one year beginning in June 2022. During that year the storage ring will be replaced with a newly designed multi-bend achromat lattice, which will increase the x-ray brightness up to 1000 times. Once completed, the upgraded APS will be a global leader among fourth-generation x-ray light sources.
The APS-U team is doing everything possible to make informed decisions and keep the project on schedule. “We’re grateful to everyone moving this project forward under such extraordinary circumstances,” Kerby said.