Meetings and Minutes
Minutes of the May 6, 2006 UEC Meeting
Present: Alton, Casey, Chertok (video), Diehl, Finley,
Gollin (video), Kopp, Merritt, Quinn (video), Trischuk
Apologies: Bertram, Hughes, Nguyen
From the GSA: Aguilar-Arevalo, Degenhardt, Maki
The Chair called the meeting to order at 9:35 am.
Chair Sacha Kopp thanked all the outgoing members of the UEC (Alton,
Bertram, Finley, Hughes, Nguyen) for their excellent service to the
He updated the committee on his visit to the CMS collaboration
meeting, to discuss their future involvement as Fermilab users, and
with the UEC. There was some discussion of the direction in which
the UEC should evolve, in the new era when many of the experiments
of interest to our community are not located at Fermilab or SLAC.
There is a consensus that the committee should work with the other
constituencies (US LHC, US ILC, ...) to understand a good model which
the field can use in the future, to continue to serve the traditional
UEC-SLUO function of representing the field as a whole in Washington,
DC. Chair Kopp has begun to work with these other constituencies
already, and will continue this work.
The Committee then heard reports from the Users Meeting,
Quality of Life, and DC Trip subcommittees.
USERS MEETING (Casey, Chertok, Merritt, Finley, Degenhardt,
Trischuk, Bertram, Alton, Nguyen, Kopp)
Brendan Casey, subcommittee Chair, noted that many of the members of the
UEC for have been active in the Users' Meeting preparations, beyond just
the subcommittee. He reported on the substantial progress in getting
ready for the Users Meeting. Preparations for the dinner are well in
hand; posters advertising the meeting have been distributed; the pamphlet
information is being collected. As of the May 6 UEC meeting, twenty-eight
posters had been submitted for the poster session (as of May 15 this
number is 45); judges for the graduate student poster prizes have been
selected; display hardware for the session has been organized.
Audio-visual arrangements are in hand. For the public lecture
by Norman Augustine, more than 500 tickets have been issued so far,
most of them to the general public. Users should be reminded that
tickets are required for this event, even though it is free.
The committee to select featured student talks for the Users Meeting
has reported its selected talks, which are:
- Anadi Canepa CDF Trilepton searches at CDF
- Petteri Mehtala CDF Hadronic top mass measurement at CDF
- Mikko Voutilainen D0 Inclusive jet cross section
measurement at D0
- David Schmitz MiniBooNE Secondary production
measurements for MiniBooNe
These talks have been assigned to slots in the
The GSA wished to record its thanks to the Featured Talks Committee:
Ben Kilminster, Wyatt Merritt (chair), and Chris Quigg.
The schedule has been planned so that each session covers a diversity
The committee discussed whether there should be name tags for Users
Meeting registrants, and concluded that yes, there should be name tags.
Fermilab Today articles about the public lecture and the Users Meeting
are forthcoming. There will be a press release also; it is not
determined when that will go out.
QUALITY OF LIFE (Diehl, Alton, Finley, Merritt, Kopp)
Tom Diehl, subcommittee Chair, reported that the Quality of Life
subcommittee had two meetings in April, devoted to planning for Career
Night and the QOL survey. It was decided to decouple the survey from
the Users Meeting, and distribute it at a different time. Career Night
has typically consisted of three speakers who cover post-graduate school
career choices. It was discussed that it is difficult to cover the full
range of possibilities with just three speakers, and there might be an
advantage to going to a two-day and/or panel format. There might also
be a web-based pool of contacts in various career types, so that this
type of information is available on a more full-time basis. The
subcommittee is looking for a postdoc with an interest in career issues
who can undertake the planning for these activities.
In addition, the subcommittee continues to work on mass transit issues
by identifying users to work to advocate a bus stop at the Fermilab
entrance starting this Fall (see Kurt Riesselmann: KurtR@fnal.gov) and
is beginning to take on recycling at the Lab. The second issue was
raised via the GSA.
The GSA has finished the new Guide to Life and that is posted on the
GSA page at
DC TRIP (Quinn, Chertok, Diehl, Finley, Hughes, Merritt, Nguyen)
Breese Quinn, subcommittee Chair, recapped the statistics from the
March trip (see minutes of previous UEC meeting). The trip planning
had assumed a reasonable maximum of 5 meetings per participant; on
this trip, we achieved 4.7 meetings per person, near the theoretical
maximum. The previous year achieved 4.1 meetings/person.
He commented that important budget cycle activities are taking place
in Washington this month, and noted that he will be sending a letter
to the Appropriations subcommittees on behalf of the UEC, reiterating
our request for their support for the increase in Office of Science
He proposed renaming the DC Trip subcommittee to something which
better describes the subcommittee's year round activities, but a new
name was not selected. Some proposed summer activities for the
- organizing visits to the district offices of the Congresspeople we
visited in Washington
- outreach to other users' organizations and constituencies (see the
discussion in the Chair's report)
- planning for another possible trip to DC in the fall, to visit the
committees as they are marking up bills. It was noted that this
process might be even more delayed than usual this year, possibly even
till after the November election.
DISCUSSION WITH DIRECTOR ODDONE
Chair Kopp thanked the Director for meeting with us all year and sharing
his news and perspectives regarding issues of concern to users.
What are the implications of the EPP2010 report for NOvA, LHC, and
The Director felt that the EPP2010 committee, like the previous "Gathering
Storm" report, was very good for the field and will get attention in
What are the implications of the EPP2010 report for ILC support from DOE
DOE has already doubled the budget for ILC for next year. There are some
issues to be sorted out with regard to this support; for example, whether
this money or core program money is used to pay for lab staff who work on
R&D that is related to ILC but supports developments beyond ILC.
Universities' best way to get involved is through helping on a lab work
There also remains the issue, discussed before at UEC meetings, of
discriminating between work on a bid to host the ILC, such as site
specific design, and the general design. The lab hopes that DOE funding
is split along those lines. This is being discussed now. One
consideration here is that the work to prepare for site selection may take
significantly longer in the US compared with other potential host
Has the shutdown progressed as planned?
Yes, the schedule is being maintained. The silicon installation for D0
has gone very smoothly. The committee asked if the zebra mussel project is
underway yet. That will start soon and will get as many as the temperature
conditions allow. There is another short shutdown expected next summer
for general maintenance, which will provide another opportunity to go
after the mussels in warmer waters. Progress in understanding the tritium
production situation has also been great, and the Director has enlisted a
modeling group at LBNL to help with simulations of the target hall
Was there anything surprising in the ANL contract RFP?
The director stated that the draft Fermilab RFP is now out, and there are
no surprises in it, though clarification is needed on some points. We are
now in the comment period, when such clarification can be requested. Then
the final RFP will be issued, from which point the management has 60 days
to put in its proposal. Then there are 'oral exams' for the management
team in September. In these, the team (Director, Deputy and Associate
Directors, CFO, ESH Officer) are given a management problem to work out,
and are graded on the observations of how they do this. (Reality TV for
HEP?) Of the perfect score of 1000 points, the science strategy and
management of the scientific staff account for about a quarter of the
The final RFP is out for Argonne, and its management proposals are due
What do you consider the highlights of your first year, so far?
The Director listed the lab's response to the strong move into ILC work,
Tevatron results, getting MINOS working, and the favorable reports from
significant national committees. He said the year has been OK (but not
fantastic) financially. The response to the tritium issue by the lab was
very good. He feels strongly supported by the staff and users.
THE LHC REMOTE OPERATIONS CENTER
Erik Gottschalk started with a brief history of the LHC remote
operations center. It has been part of the planning at Fermilab
for CMS, and in the CMS budget from the beginning, thanks to Dan
Green. A broader project, LHC@FNAL, which also includes remote
operations for LARP (LHC Accelerator Research Program), received a
charge from then-Director Witherell on Apr 14, 2005. This project
was mentioned in Director Oddone's Vision for Fermilab talk in
The LHC@FNAL intends to provide access to information in a similar
manner to what is available in control rooms at CERN (for both the
experiment and the accelerator). It can provide a communications
conduit for members of the US LHC community located in North America,
and it will also be an outreach tool.
For CMS, there is a remote operations center (ROC) currently on the
11th floor of Wilson Hall, which is participating in commissioning
and test beam activities. These functions will become part of LHC@FNAL
when it opens on the first floor of Wilson Hall in early 2007.
For the accelerator, LHC@FNAL allows training at FNAL prior to going
to CERN, and also remote participation in studies and debugging
CMS is also planning to build an operations center at the main CERN
site in Meyrin, in addition to the control room at the CMS site itself
(Point 5). The LHC@FNAL group is working with the group at CERN to
share development of these two remote centers. (CMS wants the center
at Meyrin because the Point 5 site is 13 km from CERN and lacks some
of the infrastructure.)
It is expected that CMS experimenters will be able to run shifts that
receive shift credit from the experiment in the LHC@FNAL, but details
are still being worked out.
The LHC@FNAL group has been evaluating web tools for collaboration,
and has recommended one to CMS. It has already been adopted for some
uses within the ILC collaboration as a result of this work. The group
visited 9 sites which do remote operations, including the control room
for the Hubble Space Telescope, and will incorporate what they learned
from these visits.
Phase 1 of the project, which is approved, will turn the current public
display space into the remote operations control room, and will use the
adjacent meeting room as well, for meetings and for tour groups. The
floor plan from FESS is now on display in the future control area.
Phase 2, which is not yet approved, envisions an expansion into the
space currently occupied by the Office of Public Affairs. Construction
is expected to begin in June 2006 and be complete by October 2006.
STACKING STUDIES IN THE PBAR ACCUMULATOR
Keith Gollwitzer, head of the Antiproton Source Department, described
for the committee the progress which has been made in pbar stacking
He reviewed the operations of the pbar source. There are three modes
of operation: stacking, unstacking, and reverse proton operation.
During stacking for normal operation, every two seconds or so, 8 GeV/c
negatively charged secondaries from the pbar production target are
transported into the Debuncher. Here all negatives but antiprotons are
rapidly depleted and a stochastic cooling system compresses the
antiproton emittances for the Accumulator. The Accumulator further
compresses the emittances and stacks up antiprotons until it is time
for their transport into the Recycler.
Normally, they use reverse protons for studies, because antiprotons
are scarce and the monitoring is easier with the higher intensity proton
beam. However, preparation for reverse protons requires a 3-hour overhead,
which makes 1-2 shift study periods very inefficient. A two week study
period was planned for December, but was rescheduled to start Thanksgiving
weekend due to a component failure in the Tevatron. Further studies were
done in January after another Tevatron failure.
The accomplishments from these studies included increasing the vertical
and horizontal apertures in the debuncher, and producing an autotune
program to deal with wandering orbits. The wandering orbits come from a
wide variety of causes, and can't be easily eliminated, but the new
autotune works very well to minimize their effects. They also developed
a better technique for debuncher extraction.
The bottom line is that the studies have enabled them to reach a stacking
rate of 20 ma/hr - a 25% increase - and to set a new stacking record. The
goal for the fall is 25 ma/hr, and for 2007 is 30 ma/hr. Optimistically,
if all the planned upgrades reach their targets, the final number could be
even better than that, but Gollwitzer noted that expecting to reach all
targets is unrealistic. In order to reach these further goals, they will
be asking for a series of 2-3 day study periods. Longer study periods are
extremely taxing on a small department, and hence are limited in
The committee would like to commend the Antiproton Source department for
this significant progress, and wish them continued success in pursuing
the new goals.
Future meeting dates: This UEC has no more meetings.
The first meeting of the new UEC, after the election of new members,
will be in the autumn.
Users Meeting - May 31-Jun 1
Submitted by Wyatt Merritt, UEC Secretary