From the Directors
Dear Colleagues,

With user operation at CHESS scheduled to resume on September 23rd, preparation for the upcoming experimental run are progressing very well. As outlined in the CHESS July Newsletter, we are planning for all CHESS beamlines to be available for user experiments this fall. While undergraduate students will be back on the Ithaca campus for the fall semester, Cornell University is strongly discouraging and significantly restricting visits to campus by individuals not part of the residential Cornell community, at least through the fall semester. Therefore, out-of-town users will not be allowed to visit CHESS during the September to November experimental run. Out-of-town users will be supported via remote and mail-in capabilities. A limited number of challenging experiments will be supported in “joint venture mode”. Details about the experimental capabilities for the different experimental modes can be found on the beamline web sites linked here.

CHEXS and MacCHESS received a record number of new proposals and beamtime requests for the September to November experimental run. Our reviewers carefully evaluated scientific merit of the proposals, feasibility of the proposed experiments under COVID-19 conditions and other safety considerations. Users of successful proposals have been or will soon be contacted by CHESS scientists to schedule beamtimes and establish detailed plans for the experimental runs. CHESS scientists and IT experts already concluded a successful “stress test” of our facilities’ IT infrastructure evaluating the system performance with all station computers accessed remotely. While more work and testing remains to be done, we are expecting to perform exciting new experiments at CHESS this fall.

In this newsletter, we are featuring again two science highlights and other updates on recent research and developments at CHESS:

We will continue to provide updates on CHESS operations under what we expect to be changing pandemic conditions through the CHESS web site, this newsletter and by email. Moreover, we are planning for a virtual two hall meeting in mid September to answer your questions.

Stay healthy,
Joel Brock - Director, CHESS
Elke Arenholz - Associate Director, CHESS
Stress Test for Remote Operations
On July 31st, all seven active beamlines at CHESS were being completely operated by remote connection - all at the same time - sometimes with 2 people connecting simultaneously to one machine.  
MSN-C Receives Second Year Funding
The Materials Solutions Network at CHESS (MSN-C) has received a renewal of funding from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) for its second year of operation.
Richard Gillilan at ACA
Richard Gillilan described the capabilities of BioSAXS at the 70th Annual American Crystallographic Association meeting
Development of new bunch pattern at CHESS for dynamics studies
The recent upgrade of the storage ring has positioned CHESS as a synchrotron facility that is well-suited for in situ studies of materials dynamics with sub-microsecond temporal resolution.
Unsupervised Learning of Dislocation Motion
Rather than analyze diffraction data with a physics-based X-ray model to try to extract structural information chosen a priori, a team comprised of researchers from CHEXS, Cornell, and NIST used the unsupervised learning technique, locally linear embedding (LLE), to condense X-ray data down to critical microstructural (dislocation configuration) evolution information.
Issue No. 74 2020.8.17