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Argonne's Last Stand

Mike Zurawel with the LCLS undulator pedestals in End Station A.
by Brad Plummer
Installation of the first undulator pedestals for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is set to begin this week in the Undulator Hall. The final shipment of the stands arrived at SLAC last April from Argonne National Laboratory, where they were designed.

In all, the LCLS will use two pedestals per undulator, for a total of 66. Each pedestal is carefully designed to dampen the effects of outside vibration. To reduce the influence of slight temperature variations, the pedestals are wrapped with fiberglass blankets and filled with specially prepared sand. A removable plate atop each pedestal carries a set of electric motors and cams designed to make very fine adjustments to the exact position of the undulator—a critical parameter for the LCLS to work.

The pedestals are currently housed in End Station A as technicians make final preparations in advance of installation. "Installing the pedestals will be the easy part," says installation manager Mike Zurawel. Once the installation begins, he says, the biggest challenge will be integrating the various undulator systems and commissioning the control systems that keep all the pieces aligned and moving properly.

Last week, Argonne lead engineer Geoff Pyle and a team of representatives came to SLAC for "Undulator Week," where collaborators brainstorm about solutions to challenges that crop up. "Argonne has been incredibly helpful helping us get the pedestals ready," Zurawel says. "Last week Geoff and I sat on the floor for an hour figuring out how to adjust the positioning shims. That was fun... it was like play."
Questions? Comments? You can contact the author at bplummer@slac.stanford.edu.