101. KFS meeting

Komitee Forschung mit Synchrotronstrahlung

Tuesday, April 28, 2020, video conference


KFS Brochure: The KFS Strategy Brochure has been successfully printed and is now being distributed. In addition, the pdf file of the brochure will be published on the KFS website. The English version is to be produced as soon as possible.

KFS election: The 11th KFS is to be elected in an online procedure in the fall. The deadline is set for 20 October 2020. Proposals for candidates will be collected.

ESUO: The KFS thanks Mr. Pietsch, the former chairman of the ESUO (ESUO - European synchrotron and FEL user organisation), for his many years of commitment and decides to establish an "ESUO" department in the next KFS. Mr. Pietsch emphasizes the importance of transnational access at the facilities, which should continue to be promoted even after the end of the EU project CALIPSOplus next year.

Digital Agenda: Unfortunately, the NFDI project DAPHNE does not receive any funding in this round, the official statement is still pending. A new submission in autumn is planned. For the planned umbrella organization of the BMBF action plan ErUM-Data, a funding application is to be submitted this year together with the other participating committees.

Corona: The BMBF will provide funds for structural biological research in the search for therapeutic agents against the corona virus within the ErUM project funding programme.

Measurement schedules are affected by the corona pandemic on several occasions, namely by the shutdown of centres and the closure of workshops and laboratories at universities. The source operators are trying to help the users as much as possible, for example by making up for lost measurement times later and having samples sent. Because of the delays, new requests for measurement time are sometimes collected later than planned. The call of PETRA III in autumn is suspended (except for some special experiments), at BESSY and ESRF there will be limited calls according to current plans. Experiments on corona are currently underway at many sources, and proposals are welcome.

Reports from the centres

DESY: PETRA III is currently in shutdown, and only research with a connection to Corona can take place. So far, the focus has been on active substances to suppress the replication of the corona virus and on tomography of infected lung tissue. From the beginning of May for PETRA III and from the beginning of June for FLASH, restricted user operation is to be resumed under specially adapted safety regulations. Many users are currently unable to prepare their samples, so some measurement times will be extended. The PETRA III call in autumn will be cancelled (except for some special experiments), so that with the applications received so far, planning can be continued until summer 2021. The corona research fast-track will continue.

For PETRA IV, the preparation of the Technical Design Report (TDR) will begin, which is scheduled to take three years. Four workshops are planned for this in autumn. Proposals for experiments without technical details are to be collected as a basis for decisions on beamlines at a later stage.

The final version of the FLASH2020+ Conceptual Design Report (CDR) is publicly available online since January 2020, see
https://bib-pubdb1.desy.de/record/426140/files/DESY-PETRAIV-Conceptual-Design-Report.pdf. The TDR will be produced this year.

ESRF: The new machine ESRF-EBS was completed at the end of 2019. Commissioning went according to plan and without delays, and excellent beam quality values were achieved in a very short time. Initial tests were carried out before the entire operation of the facility was shut down on 16.03. due to the corona pandemic as part of a national curfew. A slow transition to normal operation is now being sought. At the beginning of March more than 1200 beam time applications were submitted. The overbooking was very high. As usual, the applications were evaluated from a scientific point of view, but beamtime allocation will only be made once it is clear which experiments are suitable for mail-in service and can be controlled from the users' home lab or at least can be performed by ESRF staff in exchange with the users. It is assumed that no travel to or from abroad will be possible until the end of the summer.

The performance of ESRF staff is appreciated. A multi-page article on ESRF-EBS has been published in Synchrotron Radiation News. It also highlights the quality of the proposals and the anticipation of the opportunity to measure at ESRF-EBS.

European XFEL: As a precautionary measure, the European XFEL completely shut down the accelerator on 20 March, and most of the staff are now in their home offices. The machine will be restarted in May. In June and July, there will be a summer shutdown for interlock tests and already planned installations, so that user operations will not restart until then. As many user experiments as possible will be made up for this year. Applications for the second half of 2020 have been reviewed and are now being analysed to determine which ones are feasible with the increased requirements. The June/July 2020 call for 2021 will probably be cancelled.

BESSY: The instrument scientists will conduct experiments in collaboration with user groups as far as possible. After the accelerator has been run twice in the meantime for COVID-19 research, a restricted operation will start in May. The next call on September 1 will not be completely cancelled to allow beamtime applications for particularly urgent experiments. The BESSY III project continues to progress.

Dates: The election of the 12th KFS is planned for October, the deadline is 20.10.2020. The next two KFS meetings will be held as zoom conferences in June and September.