Director's Corner

20 March 2008

Barry Barish

Congratulations, it's a PAC - scientific oversight for the GDE

The International Linear Collider Steering Committee (ILCSC) of ICFA met at DESY in Hamburg on 11 February - their first meeting since October last year. The ILCSC is responsible for creating the Global Design Effort and for appointing me as GDE director, and it provides the continued scientific oversight for our efforts. The ILCSC Memorandum of Understanding is the official collaborative agreement for the countries and laboratories involved in R&D and design towards the ILC. At their most recent meeting at DESY, the ILCSC reviewed our revised plans for the Technical Design Phase, taking into account the funding reductions from the UK and US. This important meeting established the foundation for our future work in the GDE and for the experimental community as they also enter into a new phase of their activities, calling for Expressions of Interest and Letters of Intent.

Group photo of the ILCSC taken at their last meeting at DESY

For the ILCSC meeting, I reviewed the impact of the funding reductions on the ILC design efforts and described our revised plan as more focused with strict priorities, involving some stretch-out and closer collaboration with other relevant projects, like the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Project (XFEL) at DESY. I also briefly discussed the newly strengthened collaboration with the Compact Linear Collider Study (CLIC) an R&D project at CERN, on areas of common interest, such as the positron source, damping rings, beam delivery systems or detectors. To recap, the first Technical Design Phase (TDP-1) will last until 2010 and will involve items of the highest technical risk -such as cavity gradient, electron cloud-, cost risk -such as conventional facilities-, as well as some areas of needed technical progress, such as cryogenics basic design. The TDP-2 will continue into 2012 will involve broader continuing R&D and large-scale test demonstrations.

During our earlier work towards a reference design, the ILCSC provided a set of high-level external technical reviews through the Machine Advisory Committee (MAC), for our design effort, R&D and costing. A very important development at this ILCSC meeting was the approval of the mandate and proposed membership of a new review committee, the Project Advisory Committee (PAC), that will review both ongoing technical R&D and design work of the GDE through the Technical Design Phases as well as that of the detector community as they solicit and evaluate LOIs. The PAC committee is presently under formation and the membership will be announced soon. The approved mandate states:

  1. The International Linear Collider Steering Committee (ILCSC) is responsible for the oversight of the Global Design Effort (GDE) activities and of the ILC experimental program.
  2. PAC will assist ILCSC in this function and report to the ILCSC.
  3. PAC will review the GDE accelerator activities and, in addition, the ILC detector activities.
  4. In its review activity, PAC will examine the overall consistency and realism of the project, in relation to physics, technical design, cost, and schedule.
  5. PAC shall comprise about nine members, appointed by the ILCSC for terms of two or three years, and will meet a few times per year until the completion of the Technical Design Phases I and II.
  6. The PAC Chair will be appointed by the ILCSC, normally for a two-year term.

We look forward to working with this important new committee, which will provide us with external review of our work. For the TDP, we are also developing an enhanced method of internal reviews and believe that the complementary roles of internal and external reviews will provide us with both in-depth checks on our work and broad guidance and validation of our programme.

-- Barry Barish

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