As I write, ISIS is coming towards the end of a ten month shut-down.
This has been a period of very intense activity – work that, perhaps, is not always externally visible, but which is vital to maintain and improve the ISIS machine and instrument performance and to enable new capability. Second Target Station work – the linking of the new extracted proton beam to the ISIS synchrotron and installation of its many beamline components, continued construction of the target itself, and provision of the first components for the seven day-one instruments – has been very significant, and we look forward to first neutron production over the next year. But in addition, replacement of the 20-year old hydrogen moderator on the first target, major refurbishment of part of the existing extracted proton beamline and replacement of synchrotron extraction kicker power supplies will ensure ISIS’ continued running for many years to come.
Even as the first TS-2 instruments are being installed, the steps to provide the next set of the instrument suite have begun. This will proceed via the government Gateway process over the next year, in consultation with the user community. And we look forward to the inclusion of a final phase of instrumentation within the Large Facilities roadmap presently being constructed by STFC along with its sister research councils. Of course the first target station instruments suite is also continually being developed, with work presently at full speed improving the guide on HRPD, upgrading POLARIS and providing a new high-field muon spectrometer. The merging this year of CCLRC with PPARC to form the new Science and Technology Facilities Council provides new opportunities for strategic development of large facility research within and beyond the UK. We are rapidly settling into our changed environment and looking forward to progressing UK science within STFC. This year has also seen first users at DIAMOND, our sister facility on site. DIAMOND provides complementary facilities to ISIS and adds significantly to the strengths of the Laboratory. As we anticipate first beam following our shut-down activities, I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard to complete the very tough shut-down work programme, and look forward to welcoming our user community once again for some exciting and significant science.
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