ATLAS Scheduling Considerations

Beamtime at ATLAS is normally scheduled in two-month blocks. We make every effort to produce an accurate schedule at least two weeks prior to its approval in a scheduling meeting. The scheduling process is continuously ongoing with communication between ATLAS personnel and the Principal Investigator (PI) of each experiment approved by the PAC.

The overriding consideration in developing the ATLAS schedule is to optimize the productive use of beam time. This involves maximizing the beam available for research without putting unnecessary burdens on operations staff or the neglect of needed maintenance and upkeep of the accelerator.

Factors considered in the scheduling process include:

  • During periods of 7 day per week operations, no new experiment starts and no change of beam species during the weekend. The reason for this is the fact that the normal level of Operations staff is unavailable for ion source configuration and other procedures necessary for change of beam species. In addition, the number of new beam tunes (i.e., experiment starts) on Fridays will be kept to a minimum.
  • There will be times when maintenance is needed. This will be scheduled in a way that minimizes the impact on the experimental program, unless emergency maintenance is necessary.
  • Every effort will be made to minimize conflicts between experiments. For example, if the beam used for a particular experiment generates high levels of radiation in adjacent experimental areas, we will attempt to schedule the following experiment in an area that would be accessible for setup.
  • Experiments using similar equipment and/or the same beam species will be scheduled sequentially whenever possible unless it places undue burden on one or more of the experimental groups involved.
  • The travel needs and work schedules of Outside Users will be given as much consideration as possible. Keep in mind, however, that it may not be possible to schedule your experiment on exactly the dates you want.