Pie chart shows how the ALS exceeded goals in three key operational metrics

A wide variety of operational metrics are used to understand and improve operations. A few key metrics are shown here. We substantially exceed the targets for reliability (percentage of scheduled beam time delivered), mean time between failures, and mean time to recovery after a problem.

Our program plays a central role in ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the accelerator complex. Using extensive knowledge and experience with the facility, we employ a multifaceted approach to maintain high-quality operations, identify potential upgrades and collaboratively implement them, and take a lead role in troubleshooting complex issues, often working under intense pressure to ensure minimal downtime at the highly subscribed user facility.

We work closely with ALS operations staff to continuously monitor and optimize accelerator performance. This involves a detailed understanding of the physics governing particle acceleration and beam dynamics, which is used to fine-tune operational parameters and ensure that the accelerator complex operates reliably and at optimal performance.

Graphs from one of the high-level applications in the control system show collective stability of the ALS electron beam

High-level application for monitoring and controlling the electron beam’s collective stability. Because of the very large amount of charge contained in the extremely small volume of the ALS electron beam, tight control of stability is required with respect to interactions among beam particles as well as between beam particles and their vacuum system surroundings. Proper configuration and tuning of the stabilizing feedback systems is a typical example of the accelerator physics expertise we provide to ensure high-quality ALS operation.

Another crucial function of the ALS-AP team is identifying and implementing upgrades to the accelerator complex. As technology evolves, our group stays abreast of advancements in accelerator physics to assess potential enhancements. Whether it involves improving beam quality, adopting new technologies, or finding pathways to enhance operational reliability, we collaborate with various stakeholders to plan and execute these upgrades. This proactive approach ensures that the accelerator complex remains at the forefront of scientific capabilities.

We take a leadership role in troubleshooting any issues that may arise while operating this complicated “system of systems.” Our skills, augmented by other technical expertise, allow us to diagnose and address problems quickly.