May 20, 2005  


LCLS Construction Gathering Steam

By Matthew Early Wright

The LCLS project is off and running. This summer, crews will begin several major construction projects, planners will sign contracts for hardware, and R&D experimentation and testing of materials will begin.

The LCLS design provides room for expanding the machine from the initial six experimental stations to 30-50 stations on additional beam lines.

“We have a lot of stuff going on,” said LCLS project director John Galayda. “By June, we should be well on our way.”

Construction of an annex to the Klystron Gallery, which will house the LCLS injector, is set to begin next month. The annex will be built in sector 20, close to where the gallery passes under Interstate 280.

LCLS collaborators at Argonne National Labs will award contracts for the fabrication of the undulator magnets in June and July. The undulators are long arrays of permanent magnets that wiggle the electron beam back and forth as it travels through the vacuum pipe. “This bathes the electron beam in its own X-radiation, producing the amplification that causes LCLS to act as a laser,” Galayda said.

Construction is also set to begin on the Magnet Measurement Lab, where the undulators will be tested, repaired, and calibrated. “The magnet fields must be very precisely controlled,” Galayda explained. “We have to take into account and compensate for the difference between the earth’s magnetic field in the LCLS undulator hall and that of the lab room.”

Later in the summer, collaborators from Lawrence Livermore National Labs will begin materials testing and experiments at DESY’s Tesla test facility in Hamburg, Germany, Galayda said.

By September, LCLS will have identified a construction manager to oversee major projects. The most visible of these projects will be tunneling under the hill east of the Research Yard, where the LCLS undulator hall will be built, and constructing the experiment halls and the new Central Lab Office Complex (CLOC).

In the month of October, during a scheduled shutdown of the linac, the first section of LCLS vacuum pipe will be installed. This will connect the injector to the main linac for the first time, signaling the official start of hardware assembly. “As the first actual pipe of the LCLS, It’s kind of symbolic,” Galayda said. “And once it’s in place, we can start installing hardware while the B-Factory is running.” 


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Monday May 23, 2005 by Topher White