A standing ovation

Jack Anderson

July 30 marked a major milestone for the laboratory, when the Main Injector welcomed its first protons in more than a year. I congratulate the hundreds of employees and subcontractors who spent the last 15 months upgrading, repairing, overhauling and maintaining the laboratory’s entire accelerator complex. From the new proton source at the very beginning to the NuMI beamline that generates neutrinos destined for Minnesota, nearly every single piece of the intricate chain of Fermilab accelerators has received close attention from our outstanding upgrade team.

The team spanned many Fermilab groups, departments and divisions. Employees in the Accelerator Division put in countless hours upgrading the accelerator complex, and nearly every member of the division was involved with the upgrade. The Technical and Particle Physics divisions contributed many personnel to the effort. The two Computing Sector divisions and the Accelerator Physics Center provided their expertise. On the operations side, our Business Services team coordinated the many purchases and subcontracts to keep the work going, and personnel from ESH&Q and FESS contributed in numerous ways to the shutdown efforts.

The work is by no means over yet—the accelerator operations team is now beginning the slow and careful process of ramping up beam intensity, power and energy. Low-intensity beams are now being sent to the NuMI target so that the new NOvA experiment can start testing its equipment.

Within the next few weeks, the completely reconfigured Recycler will see its first beams. Within a few months, the newly combined Main Injector and Recycler will be delivering beams at 500 kW, almost 50 percent more power than in spring 2012. And from there the march to an accelerator with double its pre-upgrade power will continue. Getting us to this point has required an extraordinary effort from the entire laboratory, and I applaud each and every one of you for a job extremely well done.