Director's Corner

22 October 2009

Barry Barish

ILCSC grapples with moving the Linear Collider forward

The International Linear Collider Steering Committee (ILCSC), a subcommittee of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA), held their biannual meeting on 19 August during the Hamburg Lepton Photon Conference. ILCSC provides scientific and technical oversight for the ILC accelerator and detector R&D and design efforts. The August meeting was particularly busy, as ILCSC dealt with issues varying from the validation of the letters of intent (LOI) for the detectors to ILC-CLIC collaboration to developing efforts on governance and siting. This was the final meeting chaired by Enzo Iarocci, who will be replaced by Jon Bagger, Johns Hopkins University, who also participated in this meeting.

Enzo Iarocci, ILCSC chair
ILCSC and ICFA taking a break during their meeting in Hamburg.

At the meeting, Jean-Eudes Augustin, ILCSC Project Advisory Committee (PAC) chair described the conclusions from the May 2009 review held in Vancouver. The PAC review occurred soon after own internal technical review by the Accelerator Advisory Panel (AAP). The PAC report acknowledged and agreed with the technical recommendations of the AAP, endorsed the International Detector Advisory Group validation of two detector concept Letters of Intent, and also dealt with more general issues. Perhaps the most significant of those issues resulted in their recommendation that ILCSC set up a meeting with lab directors to discuss how best to reconcile laboratory priorities with support for major global GDE milestones. We work with the laboratories on 'best effort' arrangements, rather than through formal Memoranda of Understanding with deliverables. This has generally worked very well, as is evident from our significant progress on ILC R&D and accelerator design, which have relied on the very good work contributed by the major particle accelerator laboratories.

Nevertheless, we must recognise that our important milestones depend on the laboratory contributions, which can be seriously impacted by other laboratory priorities, due to reassignment of key people, etc. Some of this must be expected, but our hope and that of the PAC and ILCSC is that a dialogue between laboratory directors and ILCSC could help establish key global ILC milestones that require laboratory commitment and priority to succeed. We are hoping that a meeting can be arranged at the time of the next ILCSC and ICFA meetings at Brookhaven National Laboratory in February.

We are now in the process of preparing for the next PAC review, which will be held in Pohang, Korea in early November. That review will focus on the proposed new ILC accelerator baseline that we presented at ALCPG09 and that is under intense discussion and work this autumn. The PAC meeting also reviews the experimental programme and at this meeting the outcome of the LOI validation process will be reviewed. Following the Pohang PAC meeting, Lyn Evans (CERN) will become the PAC Chair and we very much look forward to working with him and especially gaining from his wide and valuable LHC experience.

Another major discussion item at the August ILCSC meeting was the ILC-CLIC collaboration. I presented a summary of the seven working groups giving some examples of the joint work. I then explained that we decided at the joint GDE Executive Committee and CLIC Steering Committee meeting in June that it would be valuable to form one more group that would look at more general issues. Such issues could include agreed-upon points of comparison for the two approaches, deciding what information is needed for making comparisons, and aligning dates and deliverables for the expected decision point 2012 or 2013. After some discussion at ILCSC about the role and mandate for this "general issues" group, it was endorsed with the proviso that the general issues group report directly to ILCSC and the equivalent CLIC oversight committee. The tentative mandate is shown below.

ILCSC has approved formation of a CLIC/ILC General Issues working group by the two parties with the following mandate:

  • Promoting the Linear Collider
  • Identifying synergies to enable the design concepts of ILC and CLIC to be prepared efficiently
  • Discussing detailed plans for the ILC and CLIC efforts, in order to identify common issues regarding siting, technical issues and project planning
  • Discussing issues that will be part of each project implementation plan
  • Identifying points of comparison between the two approaches The conclusions of the working group will be reported to the ILCSC and CLIC Collaboration Board with a goal to producing a joint document.

I will report on this new group once it is formed and operational.

-- Barry Barish

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