In closing out last week's Vancouver Linear Collider Workshop 2006, Global Design Effort Director Barry Barish declared that the Reference Design Report (RDR) and Detector Concept Report (DCR) are on track to be released in draft form in early 2007. "We have seen a lot of costing information, and we are still on track," he said.
Hosted jointly by the American Linear Collider Planning Group (ALCPG) and the GDE, nearly 300 participants met for a four-day workshop at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. While some meeting participants rose early to take morning swims, the sublime views of the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Ocean did not distract anyone from the tasks at hand: assess progress made toward writing a RDR and DCR, determine next steps for the ILC R&D program, and complete preliminary costing for the ILC.
Prior to this workshop, all Area System Group, Global Group and Technical System Group leaders were given homework: prepare preliminary cost estimates for Barish and the three costing engineers, Wilhelm Bialowons of DESY, Peter Garbincius of Fermilab and Tetsuo Shidara of KEK. "We have three costing engineers – one for each region, and all work was done in concert with the three," Barish said. "Our goal is to come up with the best cost to performance ratio we can, and we have almost complete information. Some pieces are still missing, but we did get pretty much all of the information that we wanted."
While various groups in the ILC contributed costing estimates for their portion of the project, Barish and the three costing engineers will be the only members in the GDE who analyse the entire costing scenario and produce a figure in the beginning of 2007. "We have guidelines for cost disclosure rules, and we need to be careful for a variety of reasons," Barish said. "We don't want numbers to start to float around because they may not be right. And even if our numbers are right, the choices we made for the machine might turn out not to be right because they are too expensive. We need to work the numbers ourselves before we go public."
At the ALCPG&GDE Town Hall Meeting held on 20 July, in addition to other subjects about selecting detectors and siting decisions, meeting participants voiced their concerns about high costs. In response to a question about the options to limit costs to a reasonable amount, Barish explained how the costing engineers are comparing various scenarios in order to develop a number that will not hinder the project. "We need to study enough alternatives to justify the costs we put forward," he said. "We have a long list, and we are looking at one vs. two detectors, scaling the tunnels down, one vs. two tunnels and many other things. We need to look at all of these and judge them."
In estimating the costs, Barish and the three costing engineers are assuming a 7-year construction period. "We had to pick something as a guideline," Barish said. The costing team is also trying to use a system that has international value so that the numbers will have the same meaning in all parts of the world. "We agree on a common value of anything that you build and then try to assess the amount of in-house labour it takes to do it," Barish continued.
Even though the complete costing estimate will be kept confidential until early 2007, Barish did reveal some of the interesting findings so far. In analysing the numbers, the costing group examined how different it will be to build the machine in the four sample-sites: CERN, DESY, Fermilab and KEK. "We did local cost analyses to site the machine in each of the sample sites, and we found that the civil part of the site for the host country will not be that different for each region," Barish said. "That is something that you can walk away with today."
In the closing plenary session, Barish outlined the tasks for the two new Global R&D Board task forces, S0/S1 to demonstrate the required acceleration gradient for the ILC and S2 to complete a system test after making a string of cryomodules. He also announced the plans to migrate an Electronic Document Management System, which will consist of InDiCo for meeting management, the CERN document server for general documentation and UGS TeamCenter for CAD and ILC "Lifecycle Management," into the ILC Web site this fall.
The Global Design Effort will next meet jointly with the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) in Valencia, Spain on 6-10 November. Between now and then, members of the ILC will accrue thousands of miles, jet setting around the world to meet face to face in order to complete the internal costing and prepare a draft of the RDR.
-- Elizabeth Clements
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