The Upgrade Programme addresses these challenges by developing the necessary key areas of X-ray beam technology with a considerable enhancement to the ESRF beamlines and user support facilities, whilst being complementary to the national light sources. The new beamlines will cater for the research highlight areas of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Pump-and-probe Experiments and Time-resolved Science, Science at Extreme Conditions, Structural and Functional Biology and Soft Matter, and X-ray Imaging. In particular, the Upgrade will give a decisive advantage in the routine use of small X-ray beams, less than 100 nm, able to probe a wide range of materials under real conditions and, often, in real time.

Fig. 1: Artists view of the future experimental hall (Credit: Sud Architectes).


Phase 1 deliverables

Phase 1 sets in place the infrastructure of buildings and the first part of the instrumentation developments and accelerator upgrades necessary for the new beamlines, and a first set of eight new beamlines consisting of fourteen end-stations.

The main deliverables are:

  • Extension of the Experimental Hall for eventually up to 16 long (mostly nanofocus) beamlines and new space for experiment preparation and collaborations.
  • Eight new and innovative beamlines for novel science.
  • First set of improvements to the accelerator complex for higher intensity X-ray beams and continued reliability.
  • First section of a programme of specialised instrumentation development to underpin the next generation of beamlines, including optics, detectors, and sample environments.
  • Science-driven partnerships, embracing both academia and industry.


Progress during 2009

2009 marks the first year of the seven-year period of Phase I of the Upgrade Programme and good progress has been made in all of the five key Upgrade areas. Many important elements of the Upgrade Programme such as the Instrument Services and Development Division and the Project Coordination Service have been set in place and are already fully operational.


New buildings

In June 2009 the ESRF Council approved the award of an industrial architect contract for the extension of the experimental hall to the company Séchaud & Bossuyt. With the signature of the contract between ESRF and Séchaud & Bossuyt, the detailed design on the buildings is now underway (Figure 1).

Some of the challenging issues to be addressed include:

  • Design of the so-called “golden” slab (~7,500 m2). An international advisory panel of experienced slab specialists (from ALBA, SOLEIL, DIAMOND, LASER MEGAJOULE and DESY) has been formed and will advise ESRF on technical solutions for a stable concrete slab.
  • Scheduling of construction works to minimise interference with user operation and to respect existing operating constraints in the experimental hall in order to limit the impact of works on the operation of the facility.
  • Sustainable design approach in the building design and integration into the existing site whilst maintaining comfortable and agreeable working conditions.
  • Works on a new data centre have already started in the ESRF's Central Building.


Renewal of beamlines

Work on the new beamlines started with the production of Conceptual Design Reports (CDRs) for the entire beamline portfolio of 31 public beamlines. The CDRs were discussed at the SAC meeting of May 2009 and recommendations were received from SAC in July 2009. The science cases of all of the conceptual design reports were published on 5 November on the ESRF web site.

Following the review of eleven candidate Upgrade beamline (UPBL) projects by SAC and the subsequent approval by Council, the ESRF management launched the first batch of four UPBL projects. Technical Design Reports (TDRs) have been initiated for four of the UPBL projects in the following sequence:

  • UPBL11: Pushing the limits of energy dispersive X-ray absorption spectroscopy towards the nano in spatial and temporal resolution.
  • UPBL10: Large-scale automated screening, selection and data collection for macromolecular crystallography.
  • UPBL4: Beamline for imaging, fluorescence and spectroscopy at the nanoscale
  • UPBL6: High-energy resolution inelastic scattering in the hard X-ray range with micro- and nano-focus capabilities.


Upgrades to the source

The source upgrades are progressing well for a number of key areas:

  • Electron beam position monitoring. The 20 year old electronics system of the 224 storage ring beam position measurement stations was renovated with significant improvements in stability measurements.
  • New LINAC pre-injector. A new electron gun and associated transport system was put into full time operation in August 2009.
  • Solid state power amplifiers. The order has been launched for the manufacture of a 600 kW solid state RF power amplifier for the booster synchrotron and a 450 kW system for powering three new single cell cavities to be installed on ID23 (replacement of one of the current five cell cavities that will be removed from ID07).
  • RF cavity. A single cell HOM damped RF cavity, derived from the European-ALBA type cavity, has been numerically and mechanically designed at the ESRF. Three prototypes have been ordered.
  • 6 m straight sections. The ID30 straight section has been lengthened to 6 metres.
  • Two 7 m straight sections will be created  to open the space for a new beamline on the ID07 straight section. New quadrupoles with higher field gradients have been designed and ordered. The mechanical design of the vacuum chambers is under preparation.
  • Canting of insertion devices. The canting angle has been determined for each of the future canted beamlines. Different scenarios for steering have been studied. A prototype steerer has been built and field measured. A call for tender has been launched for the manufacture of modified sextupoles.  A tender for permanent magnet steerers is under preparation.


Enabling technologies and instrumentation

The newly created ESRF Instrumentation Services and Development Division is at the heart of the implementation of the ESRF's project management system. The ISDD engineers and scientists have been intimately involved in the Technical Design Reports and initial feasibility studies. With the first beamlines now being approved, the programme of enabling technologies and instrumentation in X-ray optics, detectors, sample handling, and software will start.



During 2009 a number of partnerships and initiatives have been identified: for Soft Condensed Matter, Materials Engineering, Science at Extreme Conditions and Palaeontology. The most advanced of these is the Soft Condensed Matter Partnership with the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between ESRF and ILL on 27 November 2009. The French authorities have confirmed their participation in the development of the ESRF and ILL site, to the level of 18 million Euros. This will be shared between a new site entrance, canteen, and, most significantly, a science building acting as a home to the Partnerships.


E. Bruas, P. Elleaume, S. Pérez and H. Reichert