Update on the HL-LHC Project Status - Issue 5

The progress since the last collaboration meeting in October 2020 has been truly remarkable and the project successfully passed several key milestones for the project implementation in spite of the COVID-19 restrictions. Among the many achievements, I would like to highlight here the successful validation of two pre-series MQXFA triplet quadrupole magnets by our US colleagues in 2020, leading to the CD3 approval for series production by the US DOE and the subsequent successful validation of two more series magnets in 2021. This represents a total of four MQXFA magnets that have been successfully validated in the vertical test configuration. Furthermore, the achievements in 2020 feature the completion and testing of two prototype MQXFB triplet magnets at CERN, the full validation of the demonstrators for the superconducting-flexible-link cold-powering, the completion and start of testing of the second Crab Cavity type (RFD), the validation and successful demonstration of the D2 corrector magnets, the launch of  the industrial production of the non-linear triplet corrector magnets, the test of the prototypes and assignment of the contract for series production in industry for the triplet orbit corrector magnets, the successful completion of the collimator upgrade that was implemented during Long Shutdown 2, the advancement in the experiment-machine interface and the completion of the underground civil engineering work at P1 and P5 to mention here only some of the achievements. The project is today engaging in many areas in industrial contracts for the series production equipment and we will describe the status of this activity in more detail in a dedicated section in this Newsletter.

The key developments this year are certainly the validation and start of series production in the US of the Nb3Sn triplet quadrupole magnets and the finalization of the underground civil engineering work during LS2. We will cover the development of both these areas in detail in dedicated sections in this Newsletter edition.

The project is currently preparing for the 5th Cost & Schedule Review, planned for November 2021. The budget adjustments at the last C&SR in 2019 featured the inclusion of additional scope for the Hollow Electron Lens, a new Beam Dump system, additional beam dump dilution kickers and Crystal Collimators. This upcoming review will focus instead on the schedule implications of the COVID-19 restrictions during the last year and the shift of the start of Long Shutdown 3 by one year to 2025.

Last but not least, the project is preparing the implementation of the additional in-kind contributions that were identified during the preparation of the last C&S Review in 2019. To keep the project on the baseline schedule, the outstanding collaborations need to be finalized by fall this year, in time for the upcoming collaboration meeting in October where we will hopefully be able to welcome the new collaboration partners at the HLCB.

The annual meeting for this year is being prepared as an in-person meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, picking up the original planning for the 2020 annual meeting. I very much hope that we all will be able to travel again internationally by the end of the year and that we can get together again in person to discuss the status of the project and the progress of our collaboration in Uppsala in October 2021.