Update 03 June 2016
STFC Executive Board Decision
At the last Video Conference we discussed a number of descoped configurations by which we could deliver a demonstration of ionization cooling while substantially reducing the cost and risk of the programme to the STFC. These options had been prepared in anticipation that MICE-UK would be asked to submit a proposal for the resources to implement a descoped cooling demonstration.
On the same day, the STFC Executive Board met; the future of the MICE programme was one of the items that the Board considered. On Wednesday 01Jun16, in an email to the MICE Project Board in which I was included, I received notification of the outcome of the STFC Executive Board’s decision. The Board has decided “… that MICE should only be funded for extended Step IV operations that will allow a full set of measurements of the phase space, which should be completed by mid-2017.”
The consequences of this decision are that we shall be able to carry out the full Step IV programme defined in the run plan we prepared for the November 2014 MPB meeting. However, the MICE-UK collaboration will not now be invited to submit a proposal to carry out a descoped cooling demonstration.
The excellence of the work of the collaboration was noted in the same communication which contains the comments:
• “Research that is truly at the frontier is never guaranteed to run smoothly and it is a huge credit to scientists and engineers who have been working on the experiment at RAL that they have managed to push the envelope to beyond the limit of current technology. We also recognise the huge effort that the international team has put into MICE over the past decade and encourage all to extract as much science as possible over the coming months from this extended running in the Step IV configuration.“
Earlier this week, Colin and I visited the cavity preparation area at LBNL. Progress is impressive and the single-cavity modules are on track to be delivered to RAL over the summer. At the same time, the work on the RF amplifiers is going forward in the UK. We therefore have all the elements to discuss how we might extend the programme to include the study of RF in the magnetic field of our channel.
Clearly this is not the outcome for which we had hoped. However, we do have the opportunity to carry out the full Step IV programme. The collaboration has demonstrated its ingenuity and exceptional ability to find innovative solutions to delivering a demonstration of the ionization-cooling technique. We should now return to the Step IV run plan and seek a programme by which each of the factors critical to the performance of an ionization-cooling channel are determined.
Our regular video conference is scheduled for 09Jun16 and I will seek further clarifications on the future development of our programme in time for this meeting. In the mean time, we must remain focused on completing the three papers, two on Step IV data, that are in preparation and continue to commission the magnets on the beam line in preparation for the June/July ISIS User Cycle.
If you would like to discuss the situation with me, please don’t hesitate to call my work mobile (the number is in the signature field below).
With best wishes …