The ESRF’s Extremely Brilliant Source is a 150M€ upgrade programme that includes the complete dismantling of the existing storage ring and the reinstallation of a revolutionary new storage ring, all in the space of 20 months.
The project is challenging to say the least – there are more than 15,000 components to assemble and the master schedule alone has around 11,000 tasks entered. So how does such a huge and complex project stay on track?
The answer is: with the help of the Machine Advisory Committee (MAC), a panel of international accelerator experts from leading facilities, including CERN and PSI in Switzerland, MAX IV in Sweden, DESY in Germany and INFN in Italy. Every six months they arrive at the ESRF, where their job is to probe the project for potential problems.
Over two days, the committee is briefed on the progress of every aspect of the project, from planning and procurement to installation and commissioning. Chaired by Dr Hans Braun, leader of the Free Electron Laser facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, the team then analyses the data to identify possible oversights or bottlenecks in the project and recommend follow-up actions.
“Our job is to be a little bit sceptical,’’ explains Braun. “We have to ask the tough questions to make sure that no tiny detail has been missed.”
With each member a specialist in different fields of accelerator technology, from vacuum and control systems to beam dynamics and operation, there is a wealth of experience to be mined and it is not uncommon for members to draw on past experience of problems uncovered and solutions implemented at different facilities, showing the cooperative nature of the accelerator community.
“We respect their advice and suggestions and appreciate the collaborative spirit in which it is given,” says Pantaleo Raimondi, ESRF accelerator and source director and EBS project leader.
“The MAC has enormous value to us, both to assess where we are now and to exchange on future plans,” adds ESRF Director-General Francesco Sette.
So what did the MAC say this time? Held on 22nd and 23rd May, midway through the girder assembly process, the meeting included a visit of the EBS girders and the reaction was extremely positive. “We were very pleased to see the rows of fully assembled girders lined up and ready to go,” said Braun.