Sector 2 News

August 3, 2017

The inspections and reviews for the Gemini beamline have at times seemed a bit excessive, but they might actually be coming to an end. The PS/PSS (front-end shutter system) was inspected by a team of experts at the ALS today, and passed the safety requirements. The final (hopefully) review of all the components will now be at the Beamline Readiness Review (BRR) once these systems go into the frontend.


July 7, 2017

The PS/PSS (front-end shutter system) has been installed on its stand and is ready for installation inside the shield wall.


July 5, 2017

The Oxford mirrors are currently at the metrology lab at the Diamond Light Source for final measurements before shipping to us.

June 12, 2017

The hutch has been ordered. There are a few details that are still being worked out, but the walls should arrive within 4 months, and then putting the hutch together and attaching to the ALS floor will take another few weeks.

April 25, 2017

First pictures from the Axilon monochromator build in their factory in Germany:

April 5, 2017

The optical test results for the Gemini mirrors were excellent.

March 6, 2017

Laying out the electrical wireways and racks for Gemini.


Feb 6, 2017

The PS/PSS (photon stop - personnel safety shutter) has arrived. This is the main shutter inside the ring for Gemini.

The unit was custom built by FMB-Oxford, and had to go through extensive review by safety at the ALS, since it is the first of its kind here, though Oxford has built similar units for the Diamond Light Source.


Jan 30, 2017

Sector 2 inside the ring has been emptied out in preparation for the Gemini undulator. (But don't worry, there will be beampipe there until the undulator arrives.)


Dec 13, 2016

The Beamline Design Review for Gemini was held today and went very smoothly. This was the "big" review that allows us to go forward now to start actually drilling holes in the floor!

Nov 29, 2016

Floor scanning for the Gemini hutch and beamline is complete. The conduit within the concrete is visible as the grid in the image below.


Oct 28, 2016

Floor scanning has started at the site of the future Gemini hutch. These scans determine where the conduit is within the concrete, which is necessary to know when drilling bolt holes for the hutch walls and support stands for the optical components.


Oct 6, 2016

The upcoming ALS shutdown in January 2017 is the ideal time for some of the Gemini frontend work to be completed.

Namely, we have planned:

Install of the first aperture (AP001) inside the shield wall

Install anchors, stand, and first valve (VVR001) inside the shield wall

Install IG1 Top-Off shielding aperture inside the shield wall

Install LCW (house water system) front end manifolds, inside the shield wall

Install 2X LN2 drops (1X for the hutch, 1X for the mono) outside the shield wall

Sept 8, 2016

We are pleased to report that after careful consideration and an extensive bidding process, we have chosen Oxford FMB as our mirror vendor for the Gemini beamline.


July 28, 2016

The preliminary hutch design for Gemini is complete: locations of walls, feedthroughs, and electrical conduit. A lot depended on the height and walkway constraints, and the wiring already in place beneath the ALS floor. We may be ordering the leaded walls by the end of the year.

May 21, 2016

The Request For Bid for the Gemini mirrors has gone out. We will review the bids and expect to make a decision by the end of June.

April 20, 2016

The NIH S10 high-end instrument grant was funded! We will be purchasing a Pilatus3 6M detector for the primary Gemini beamline.


Feb 20, 2016

After much discussion and analysis of the bids, we are pleased to select Axilon AG as the company to build the Gemini monochromator for us. Delivery is planned for June of 2017.


January 29, 2016

Happy to report that the Scientific Advisory Board was impressed with the plans for Gemini. Here is an excerpt from the executive summary of their report:

January 12, 2016

The engineering group built a very small (and cheap) model of the front-end apertures and tank using a 3d printer. This allows everyone to see how exactly the apertures will have to be manuevered into the tank. Very useful!


January 6, 2016

The first front-end piece is in! The stand to hold the bremstrahlung shielding and pumps was put in place during the shutdown. This assembly is shared with our neighbors who are building an IR beamline, and we shared the cost of the stand as well.




September 18, 2015

We are very fortunate to have an outstanding Scientific Advisory Board for the Gemini beamline. The board members are: Bob Fischetti (APS), Dan Harrington (SSRL), Gwyndaf Evans (Diamond Light Source) and Dan Harrington (SSRL). All of the committee members have extensive experience in building microfocus beamlines, and the discussion during the first SAB meeting, in which we focused on the beamline optical layout and the undulator source, was extremely productive.

August 5, 2015

The Conceptual Design Review is complete! The meeting went well - the optical design and beamline layout were reviewed by the engineering, radiation, controls, and interlocks groups at the ALS and given the "go-ahead". Ordering of optical components will now commence... 



June 30, 2015

I never would have guessed how much could go into the design of a hutch. This week, the engineering team investigated all the repercussions of the planned Gemini hutch height, which can be a maximum of 11 feet high, given the space constraints. The hutch height influences the earthquake stability, the number and position of feedthroughs for cabling, the thermal cycling of the hutch, and the type/position of equipment inside the hutch. Of particular concern was the height of the detector gantry. It has to be high enough that the detector can be moved vertically upward high enough to record high resolution data, but not so high that vibrational stability becomes an issue. It is all sorted out now with a detector gantry design that fits into an agreed-upon hutch height of 10.5 feet. 



April 9, 2015

The design of the front-end of Gemini is complete! Engineering ran into a snag last month when they discovered an electrical panel in the front-end that was not documented in any of the ALS drawings. However, they were able to design all the front-end components around the unexpected box, and in fact complete the design. One interesting point is that the final heat-load analysis on the apertures indicated that all the water cooling will have to be "dual pass", which means more complicated drilling of the pieces than in the initial design. The vacuum analysis also indicated that one more ion pump would be needed than in the initial design. But now that these designs are finalized, Engineering will schedule the internal LBNL reviews in the next two months, and then ordering for front-end components will begin this summer. This will leave plenty of time for install in the 2016 shutdown. 



Feb 20, 2015

We just got out of a meeting with the Engineering group, who have been doing a very thorough analysis on heat load on the sector 2 front-end apertures. The analysis covers all the worst case (beam mis-steering) possibilities. This is required for the internal engineering reviews as well as the optical design review, and will also ensure that we can close the undulator gap to its minimal value. Below is page 6 from the 50 page analysis document!



Feb 17, 2015

This picture may not mean much to anyone outside the ALS controls group, but it shows the "rotated kicker": an element in the ALS ring in sector 2 that had to be modified to make way for the Gemini undulator. The test of this new device was successful, showing that changes to the current sector 2 elements will not adversely affect operations. Ie, all the other beamlines at the ALS will be just fine! This was an important milestone for the ALS in the Gemini project. 


Dec 3, 2014

We (Corie Ralston, Simon Morton, and Peter Zwart) were very pleased to see how organized the LBNL Engineering group is with project management, now that they have swung into full gear. They are using Windchill for the sector 2 project management, which organizes everything in the project, from budget to schedule. All the technical information has now been migrated over to Windchill, including all the quotes for endstation components and beamline optics, as well as the notes from the lengthy technical discussions with the various undulator vendors.



January 9, 2015

The engineering group presented the latest power load calculation from the undulator insertion device. Nine thousand Watts per square milliradian - wow!!



November 14, 2014

Now that the decision has been made to put the undulator in the center of the sector 2 straight, the beamline layout can be completed. Of note: there is no front-end mirror, which greatly simplifies the heat-load issues. 



Funding Has Arrived

As of September 2014, we now have the starting funds to build out the sector 2 at the ALS!

Funded primarily by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this macromolecular crystallography beamline facility will be a state-of-the-art, high performance and high-throughput set of beamliness designed to enhance and increase productivity of the crystallography experiment for scientists around the world. Everyone at the BCSB is very excited by this news, and we will be sharing specs and news here as the project progresses.