This week, linear collider scientists converge on Granada, Spain for the second International Workshop on Future Linear Colliders. The conference is going well, with over 350 attendees discussing the future of particle physics, particularly with relation to how LHC results will guide the design of a next-generation collider. It is with this in the back of our minds that many of us in the Global Design Effort are spending time at this conference planning the final details for the Technical Design Report.
The delivery of the Technical Design Report, or TDR, at the end of 2012 represents the completion of the GDE mandate, a demonstration that the machine is ready to be built.
At our last linear collider workshop in March in Eugene, US, we came to agreement on many broader project decisions. Here in Granada, we are hammering out the finer details of the programme. Accordingly, ILC groups have been working hard to make accelerator systems more reliable with rigourous tests and thorough analyses.
But the GDE’s choices are not limited to technological decisions related to the machine. We must also make decisions related to industrialisation and costing. As a scientist, these kinds of tasks are not the most exciting, but are absolutely necessary to realise the ILC.
Industrialisation and costing are perhaps the most challenging aspects of such a large project. What we learn from industrial companies informs the costing. We do our best to involve multiple companies in the work of manufacturing and improving cavities and producing cryomodules. Because this work is distributed to several companies, it is up to the laboratories to assure that the companies’ output meets a minimum standard of quality, one that meets ILC specifications. We will continue this work of quality assurance up to the time of and beyond the publication of the TDR.
Of course, as many people at this conference are saying, the future of accelerator physics depends on future LHC results. Like everyone else, we wait anxiously for the next big LHC discovery, but until then, we work hard to complete the final stretch of the GDE mandate.