We've reached an important milestone for the APS Upgrade (APS-U) Project: We’re now less than a year away from the currently scheduled start of the storage ring installation period. In April 2023, we plan to pause APS x-ray beam operations for a year so that the current storage ring can be removed, and the new multi-bend achromat lattice can be assembled in its place.
Naturally, excitement is running high as the countdown begins in earnest. The project has made significant progress over the past few months.
Currently, 1,261 of the 1,321 magnets that will make up the new storage ring are on site and have been tested. Those magnets will all be assembled into 200 modules and precisely aligned before the installation period begins. Crews recently moved one of the heavy concrete plinths that will hold these modules into the APS itself, to ensure that they can be transported safely and efficiently..
In February the project team was granted beneficial occupancy of the Long Beamline Building (LBB), which will house two of the new feature beamlines being built as part of the upgrade. Work continues on plumbing, electrical wiring and lighting systems, and the building is scheduled for completion in June. As the only part of the APS Upgrade that involves new outdoor construction, the LBB has been the most externally visible sign of progress on the project.
Work continues on APS-U beamline instrumentation. The Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS-II) spectrometer for beamline 27-ID is now fully commissioned and is available for users.
Multiple procurement readiness reviews have occurred over the last month, including for the 34-ID sample and detector goniometers, the 25-ID LERIX spectrometer, the overhead instrumentation support for the High Energy X-ray Microscope (HEXM) at 20-ID, and the nano-positioning flexures for Kirkpatrick-Baez mirror benders. More contract awards have occurred, including those for a far field detector positioner for 7-ID and 28-ID and a nanoprobe vacuum chamber for 26-ID, the beamline that is part of the Center for Nanoscale Materials.
All of this progress has been made in the face of uncertain times. While COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted across the United States, the impact of the global pandemic continues to be felt in global supply line shortages and delays in virtually every industry.
The impacts of these events on the APS Upgrade Project have been many, and are ongoing. However, the APS Upgrade team’s top priority is to hold to the April 2023 date for the start of the year-long shutdown, despite delays up and down the supply chain. The project team is watching contingency funding closely, and working with vendors to come up with solutions to delays and staffing issues. The goal is to deliver the upgrade on time and on budget.
Leading that charge will be Jim Kerby and Elmie Peoples-Evans, newly named as the APS Upgrade Project Director and APS Upgrade Project Manager, respectively. Both Jim and Elmie joined the project in 2012, and have been highly visible and highly respected members of the leadership team ever since. In December, they both stepped into their current roles on an interim basis, and they have now been appointed to those positions permanently.
Jim Kerby will be part of a question and answer session on May 10 as part of the 2022 APS/CNM Users Meeting. Panelists will include members of the upgrade project team, APS leadership and the APS Users Office, and they will be on hand to answer questions about the upgrade. Registration for the users meeting is open. Learn more at the users office website.
The APS-U home page has recently undergone a refresh, and it continues to be updated with the latest news and information on the project, along with a selection of photos and videos. Also on the site is a newly created matrix of comparable beamlines at other DOE light sources, a resource for users when planning experiments during the year-long installation period for the APS Upgrade.
On the website you will also find the “People of the APS Upgrade” series, telling the story of the upgrade through the people making it possible. Recent profiles include engineer Matt Kasa and accelerator physicist Kathy Harkay. Speaking of engineers, several working on the APS Upgrade were featured in this story celebrating Engineers Week in February. The website will have all the latest information, so please bookmark it and check back often.
More information about conducting research at the APS for current and prospective users is available at the APS User Office website.