Director's Corner

4 May 2006


Gerry Dugan
Today’s issue features a Director’s Corner from Gerry Dugan, GDE Americas Regional Director

DOE and NSF Reviewers See Progress in ILC-Americas Program;
Also Recommend Areas of Improvement

The first review of the US R&D program for the International Linear Collider (ILC) by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) was held at Fermilab from 4-6 April 2006. This meeting served as DOE and NSF’s primary peer review of the US portion of ILC R&D activities. The goal of the review was to evaluate the scope and quality of the accelerator research and development activities, the prioritization of activities within the budgetary advice, the planning for the next few years, the efficacy of the management of the effort by the Americas Regional Team (ART), and the integration of the US work into the global ILC effort.

DOE’s Paul Grannis chaired the review, and Jon Kotcher was the primary NSF liaison. Dixon Bogert (Fermilab), Tom Elioff (SLAC), Don Hartill (Cornell), George Mulholland (Applied Cryo Technology), Katsuobu Oide (KEK), Ferde Willeke (DESY), and Ilan Ben-Zvi (BNL) also participated as consultants on the review committee. There were also observers from Europe and Asia.

The review began with a description of the ART organization in the context of the ILC GDE, an overview of FY06 activities, and an outline of the requested ART activities for FY07. Subsequent presentations described US participation in the ILC Reference Design Report (RDR) and cost estimate. FY06 US R&D efforts in electron and positron sources, damping rings, main linac cavities, cryomodules, and RF systems, and beam delivery systems, were covered by speakers from ANL, Fermilab, and SLAC. On the second day of the review, presenters described US test facility plans, and the US role in international test facilities, as well as civil engineering in support of the RDR, and studies of machine operations. Although the majority of the work described is being carried out at national laboratories, university accelerator R&D projects were also included. The complete set of presentations can be found online.

At the oral closeout of the review on 6 April, the consultants reported on their impressions of the program, and provided comments and suggestions to the ART. The overall impression of the ILC program was quite positive. The reviewers observed that since the formation of the GDE and ART in mid-2005, substantial progress has been made in the specification of the machine, the development of the RDR, and the R&D program. They noted a number of areas, however, in which improvements could be made. Some of these areas are described below.

In the general area of the R&D program, the review committee noted the need for additional strong efforts on main linac klystrons, and on developing reproducible techniques for processing main linac cavities to achieve high gradients. The absence of a clear plan for cavity testing, scalable to pre-production needs, was noted. The committee also suggested adding more resources to the availability modeling efforts, and developing techniques for benchmarking the low emittance transport codes.

Regarding the development of the Reference Design, the committee noted that the Baseline Configuration provides a sound basis for proceeding. The committee recommended that ART be sure to provide sufficient information needed to make a clear and complete translation of the value-based cost estimate into a regional cost estimate.

In the area of management and planning, the committee noted the need to improve the coordination of the R&D program with the efforts in other regions and to develop a GDE-guided global R&D plan with schedules and milestones. The committee also recommended an increase in the staff support level in the office of the Americas Regional Director.

A complete written report from the review committee will be available in the near future. As the ART develops its plans for work in FY07, the first suggestion noted above in the management area will be carefully considered. The ART will work with the GDE’s Global R&D Board to develop a plan for the FY07 scope of work, which emphasizes the GDE’s global R&D plans and priorities, and is well coordinated with the R&D efforts in the other regions.

-- Gerry Dugan, Americas Regional Director