Director's Corner

15 September 2005

Barry Barish
Snowmass is now behind us and we are ready to begin to assess the outcomes from that successful workshop and to move on to our challenging next goal for this fall, to create a baseline configuration and alternatives for the ILC. These will be documented in what we are calling a baseline configuration document (BCD) that will become the basis of the design and costing effort next year, as well as for developing the supporting R&D program.

There are many difficult and important decisions we must make in order for us to create a solid baseline. The guiding principle that I have given to the GDE in making these decisions is for us to make as forward looking choices as we can, consistent with attaining our the performance goals, and being understood well enough for us to do a conceptual design and reliable costing by end of 2006.

To begin work on this task of defining the baseline configuration, we have assembled Snowmass summary information from the various working and global groups, as well as for the 'Himel List' of 40+ decision items that are needed to develop our baseline configuration document (BCD). These have been posted and are available in a new section of our web pages containing summaries of the conclusions and recommendations from Snowmass. We will continually update this information with both missing information and new inputs. These new BCD web pages can be found online.

I invite the ILC community to monitor these pages closely through the fall and I also encourage you to send us whatever inputs and opinions you consider relevant to the process of making choices and reaching a BCD this fall. Please document what you send carefully, so we can give it proper consideration.

Let me remind you of the process we plan to follow to get to the baseline configuration. I have assembled a 'BCD Executive Committee,' consisting of the GDE directorate (Barish, Dugan, Foster and Takasaki) and the GDE accelerator leadership (Raubenheimer, Walker and Yokoya). This group will be responsible for creating a 'Strawman' BCD by about mid-November, and this will then be used as the starting point and basis for our discussions and finalization of the BCD at the GDE meeting at Frascati from December 7-10, 2005.

The BCD Executive Committee will meet together next week at SLAC. Our objectives at this meeting will be to analyze the outcomes from Snowmass, plus whatever new inputs we receive by that time, and from that we will assess where we are relative to creating the BCD. From that assessment, we will both determine what additional information or expert opinions we need and we will make a plan for how we will proceed toward the strawman baseline.

I will report in this column on our progress and how you can interact with us, soon after our meeting.