Director's Corner

“The GDE must write” – The first steps to the ILC Technical Design Report

This week's issue features a Director's Corner from Nick Walker, Project Manager for the Global Design Effort.

| 23 November 2011

What could be the relationship between a bowl of petunias and the ILC {i}Technical Design Report{/i}? Image: ILC

“The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.” Mark Twain

“Scientists must write” was a particular mantra of one of my professors in my freshman year at university. He was of course talking about the importance of publication. As we approach the end of 2011 and begin to plan for the Global Design Effort’s final year, “The GDE must write” might be something I should print out in large letters and stick on my office wall. The project managers are now turning their full attention on actually writing the GDE’s primary deliverable: The ILC Technical Design Report (TDR).

As I sit here with the inevitable “blank page syndrome” and contemplate the production of this lofty tome, I can’t help feeling something in common with the famous ‘bowl of petunias’ in Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – a sense of “Oh no not again”. The veterans of past such reports know all too well just how much work is involved in such undertakings. Nonetheless (and joking aside), it is an important undertaking, and one which we must approach professionally, and not least with a careful sense of planning.

The TDR as it is known will not be one book, but several. For the machine part, we are planning two primary volumes (Part I and Part II) and a lighter-weight executive summary. Our physics and detector counterparts are also planning two volumes. Add to this a sixth outreach document currently being planned by our communicators, and you can quickly see there is plenty of pen-pushing for all.

Fortunately for us, we have the legacy of the original 2007 Reference Design Report (RDR) and the recently published interim report (The International Linear Collider – A Technical Progress Report) to build on. The TDR “Part I: Technical Design Phase R&D”, will cover all the global R&D of the last five years. The report will attempt to comprehensively capture the excellent work that the GDE has performed during its mandate. Although the primary focus will be on the R&D results that support the ILC baseline design and the development of worldwide superconducting radio-frequency (SCRF) technology infrastructure, Part I will also include results on alternative approaches which are currently not considered mature enough to be adopted as the baseline, but may hold promise for the future. A final but important ingredient of Part I will be to scope the future R&D directions beyond the TDR, in particular on ultra-high gradient superconducting radiofrequency (SCRF) cavities.

John Carwardine, chair of the ILC {em}Technical Design Report{/em} Technical Editorial Board. Image: ILC

“Part II: The ILC Baseline Design”, will be a more formal description of the ILC machine, including the updated cost estimate and schedule. It will be very similar in structure to the 2007 RDR, with about the same level of detail. It will also include an important chapter on the energy and luminosity upgrades. Part II will capture the baseline design that is currently being ratified by a series of baseline technical reviews. So far, the damping rings, sources, ring-to-main-linac, and beam delivery system have been pinned down in two recent review workshops (July in Frascati, Italy, for the damping rings, and more recently at a workshop in DESY, Germany, in October for the rest). The primary cost drivers – the SCRF main linacs the conventional facilities – will be dealt with respectively at workshops in January at KEK and April in CERN.

We expect both volumes to be approximately 300 pages, and first drafts will be needed in the first half of next year. While this is quite ambitious, it is necessary if we are to keep to the hard deadline of having a complete final draft by the end of 2012. Final and formal publication will likely by spring 2013, after international review.

The project managers have put together a strong team of editors to take on this challenge. The Technical Editorial Board (TEB) as we call it, consists of three primary editors for each TDR Part. For Part I we have Jim Kerby (FNAL), Hitoshi Hayano (KEK) and Eckhard Elsen (DESY). For Part II, Nan Phinney (SLAC), Nobu Toge (KEK) and Phil Burrows (Oxford University). Benno List (DESY) and Maura Barone (FNAL) will provide technical, database and graphics support. Finally, we have asked John Carwardine (ANL) to chair the TEB and organise and plan the TDR activities. On behalf of the project managers I’d like to thank these people for agreeing to help us with this difficult but extremely important task.

Finally, I also need to say a thank you in advance to the GDE team scattered across the globe who will actually produce the TDR. As usual we are asking you to go that extra mile. We look forward to working with you and the TEB in producing a TDR which truly reflects the enormous amount of good work that you and others have contributed to the “Great Adventure”.

Nick Walker

Nick Walker, Project Manager for the Global Design Effort
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