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Feature Story | Advanced Photon Source

Connecting the dots: The Advanced Photon Source Upgrade team starts to put the new storage ring together

At the APS Upgrade’s offsite facility, powerful magnets and other components are being assembled in preparation for the year-long installation period beginning in April 2023.

Status of the APS Upgrade

After years of planning and design work, the team upgrading the Advanced Photon Source (APS) is now preparing to make those plans and designs a reality. The APS, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, is one of the most productive synchrotron X-ray light sources in the world, and scientists use its ultrabright X-ray beams to help create longer-lasting batteries, stronger materials and more effective treatments for infectious diseases. 

Team members work on the first fully assembled sector of the new electron storage ring at the heart of the upgraded APS. The 1,321 magnets that make up the new storage ring will be assembled into 200 modules, and those modules assembled into 40 full sectors. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
New storage ring

The APS has been operating for more than 25 years, and the APS Upgrade Project will see the electron storage ring at the heart of the facility replaced with a new state-of-the-art storage ring. 

That new ring will be made up of 1,321 powerful electromagnets, complete with new vacuum systems and power supplies. Those components are being assembled into modules in an offsite building, where they will be stored until April 2023. That’s when a year-long shutdown of the APS is scheduled to begin, which will allow those modules to be transported to the APS facility, installed, and commissioned.

The magnets are assembled onto large concrete plinths. The centers of each magnet must line up to within half the width of a human hair, and that tolerance must be maintained across the new storage ring’s circumference, about 2/3 of a mile.

New front ends for beamlines

Also in this offsite building, teams are assembling new front ends for most of the beamlines around the APS. Front ends are the connective tissue, so to speak, between the electron storage ring and the experiment stations, where scientists conduct their experiments. They’re designed to deliver the ultrabright X-rays that will enable those experiments.

The upgraded APS, with the new storage ring and front ends installed, is scheduled to return to life in 2024 when first light is anticipated.

APS Upgrade work — video

This image gallery captures the process of assembling 1,321 magnets and other components of the new storage ring into sections for transport to and installation in the Advanced Photon Source facility.