Director's Corner

5 January 2006

Barry Barish
Happy New Year
As this New Year begins, I would like to briefly remark on our progress and status to date, as we begin to undertake a new set of tasks and goals for 2006. During this past year, the GDE was formed, first by my appointment as Director last March, and then by 49 members joining the team in time for the Snowmass workshop, which was held in August.

At that workshop the GDE met face-to-face for the first time, and we used the meeting to begin the process of reaching our first milestone -- defining a baseline configuration for the ILC. This baseline configuration will be used as the basis for the reference design and costing effort that we are undertaking this year.

We should be proud of our success at achieving our first goal! It wasn't all that easy. Defining this baseline configuration required a lot of hard work. We had to make many hard decisions in a very short time and in many cases with limited information. But our process worked well, and we succeeded in producing a baseline configuration document (BCD) that was discussed and endorsed at the second GDE meeting in Frascati, Italy in December.

The most contentious issue in the BCD concerned the proposed strategy for the option to be able to increase the energy to 1 TeV from the baseline 0.5 TeV machine. The issue involves both finding the best strategy for upgrading the energy and determining what investment needs to be included in the original project, in order to insure upgradeability is a viable future option. I will discuss this topic more in a future column.

With this success behind us, we are now preparing to embark on our reference design effort. To take on this task, we have reorganized and strengthened ourselves by adding some new members to the GDE. This next stage was planned from the beginning and is aimed at giving us the skills we will need to flesh out the design and provide accurate costing. The centerpiece of our new organization is three Boards that report directly to the GDE Executive Committee and Director. Interviews with the chairs of these boards are included in this issue of ILC NewsLine, and I will describe more about the roles of these boards separately.

The first steps in the reference design process will be to initiate the work of our three boards, fill in missing documentation, inconsistencies, and other items in our BCD, initiating the work for the area groups that cover the subsystems of the ILC, as well as for the expanded set of systems and global groups.

The reference design effort should be fully underway by the time of our next GDE meeting at Bangalore on 9-11 March. That meeting will serve as a crucial checkpoint on the design and costing goals and methodologies, as well as our work toward globally guiding the ILC R&D efforts.

We fully expect that this coming year will be an exciting one that builds on our initial successes and provides us with a viable reference design and cost.