You may have noticed that this edition of eNews has many features relating to aspects of “The Transition.” These are all aspects of the transition from NSLS to NSLS-II, which will impact the NSLS user community in various ways.
Most broadly, the transition represents the collection of activities we need to undertake in preparation for winding down operations of NSLS and ramping up NSLS-II. This process has actually been under way for some time. From a high level, it is important to recognize and embrace the changes that will come with delivering the world-leading capabilities of NSLS-II to the synchrotron radiation research community.
The existing NSLS is an extraordinarily active and productive facility, hosting nearly one quarter of the synchrotron user community in the United States. In the development of NSLS-II, we have implemented an aggressive plan that has 18 beamlines with 21 simultaneous endstations available in the first two years of NSLS-II operations. The capabilities of these NSLS-II beamlines will far surpass anything available at NSLS, and the shape and direction of scientific research at NSLS-II will differ in many respects from that conducted at NSLS. Additional beamline development projects have been proposed and approved and are in search of funding to augment the initial complement of beamlines at NSLS-II. This is a remarkably rapid build out of about one third of the eventual experimental capabilities of NSLS-II. And yet, in bare numbers, it is only about one third of the existing stations at the fully built-out NSLS facility.
So the transition from NSLS operations to early operations of NSLS-II will represent a significant reduction in experimental station hours available to the synchrotron user community in the U.S. Clearly, access to NSLS-II during the early years of its operation will be extremely competitive. But the significant reduction in U.S. synchrotron capacity resulting from closure of NSLS means that there will be increased competition for beam time at other facilities as well, as displaced NSLS users look elsewhere to carry on their programs while NSLS-II continues to build out additional beamlines.
Recognizing this, we have been working with the other DOE synchrotron facilities to try and understand in more detail the capabilities available across the complex and adjustments that might be made to sustain the research we collectively support. This work is in progress and will be continuing in the coming months. Steve Dierker and I have presented overviews to the Users’ Executive Committee in its recent meetings, and I discussed the transition at the August 2011 Town Hall meeting. Additional aspects of the transition will be covered in eNews as it progresses. Our goal is to help maintain and expand your scientific productivity as much as possible as we move into the era of NSLS-II operations.
— Erik Johnson, Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for Programs, Photon Sciences Directorate