Management of the Sirius Project


Sirius must be a state-of-the-art equipment among the synchrotron light sources, designed to meet scientific demands in strategic areas for Brazil and the world.

The main parameters of the new synchrotron light source – diameter of the accelerators, energy of electrons, operating current, emittance – should be established in order to meet its scientific purpose, i.e., the analysis at the atomic and molecular level of various materials. Moreover, this complex research infrastructure requires sophisticated developments in physics and engineering from the conceptual planning to the production of its components.

All the numerous activities of a highly specialized technical staff therefore requires planning and coordination structured in an adequate management. The Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS) is in a unique position to coordinate the development of the Sirius project, with the experience gained in the construction and operation of UVX, the first synchrotron light source in the Southern Hemisphere and still the only in Latin America.

Technical and Scientific Teams

The project for the synchrotron light source and its beamlines is carried out by the LNLS staff. These professionals (technicians, engineers, researchers, etc.) are organized into groups that reflect the different technical skills required by the project, such as Accelerator Physics, Vacuum, RF, Magnets, Instrumentation Beamlines, Radiological Protection, Special Facilities, Mechanical Projects and others.

It is important to note that, due to the specificity and complexity of the project, the technical expertise of the staff is a crucial item for the success of the venture. This success is guaranteed by the presence of staff with years of experience in the LNLS, many of whom participated in the construction of Brazil’s first synchrotron light source, opened in 1997.

The development of Sirius’ different components demand detailed theoretical studies and numerical simulations, which define requirements for the engineering design of thousands of components and systems, like magnets, supplies, RF system and many others.

During this process, there is the interaction between the technical teams responsible for the design of the various subsystems – vacuum, magnets, diagnosis, control, injection, alignment, etc. – in search for solutions to meet the strict parameters of manufacturing and operation.

This is a long cycle of design, prototyping and adjustments involving the accelerator physics and engineering groups. At the same time, projects for the beamlines and construction works are developed and all these projects need to be interrelated.

Project Management Team

Since Sirius is a project with pioneering features, many of the processes and components to be used do not exist in the market and its development requires innovative solutions. It is important to note also that this cycle of joint development makes the project go through constant revisions throughout its history, in search for feasible solutions to meet its numerous technical requirements.

The success of the Sirius project therefore requires rigorous planning and monitoring of different aspects of management such as the procurement of materials and equipment, risk analysis, establishment and monitoring of schedule and budget, human resources and quality control.

The coordination and monitoring of all technical and administrative aspects of the Sirius project is made by the following team:

Antonio José Roque da Silva | Director of the Project
Antonio Ricardo Droher Rodrigues | Coordinator of the Accelerators
Harry Westfahl Jr. | Coordinator of the Beamlines
Oscar Horacio Vigna Silva | Coordinator of the Construction Works
Cleonice Ywamoto | Project Manager
Roberta Pascoal Gomes | Project Manager
Marcelo Moreira Xavier | Project Manager


From the scope and analytical structure of the Sirius project, activities were defined and sequenced with resource estimates (human, financial and material) for the projects of the synchrotron accelerators, beamlines, and construction works.

Synchrotron Light Source: The design of the synchrotron light source is divided into two large blocks: storage ring and injection system.

The storage ring management is subdivided into 14 sub-projects. The electron injection system is divided into four blocks: linac, booster, linac-booster transport line and booster-storage-ring transport line. Each of these blocks is organized into different subprojects.

These subprojects are in turn structured in different activities. For example, the sub-project of the booster magnetic lattice involves the development and further production of dipoles, quadrupoles, and sextupolos. Each of these activities is detailed with the leaders of the technical groups, together with the coordinators and the management team. The final implementation stage is the installation, assembly and commissioning of the storage ring and the injection system.

Beamlines: The beamlines are organized in 13 different projects. As a strategy for the implementation, these projects are addressed in groups, respecting the technical synergy between the development of parts and systems for each group, facilitating management.

Construction Works: The main activities related to construction works included in the scope of the project are: a) Construction of ancillary facilities to accommodate technical areas working on the development and construction of components for the source and beamlines; b) Development of architectural conceptual design; c) Preparation of executive project with detailed engineering of the construction works; d) Execution of the earthmoving and drainage services in the area in which Sirius will be built; e) Licensing; f) Contracts, monitoring and supervision of the construction of the main building of the synchrotron light source; g) Construction of other infrastructure items such as power substation, water treatment plant, gatehouse, streets and parking lots.

Human Resources

To define the need for human resources dedicated to the project and ensure the successful implementation of the Sirius project, a detailed analysis of the workload was carried out.

This analysis is reviewed periodically to guide the need for hiring by technical area and employee profile. It is critical to define the need for hiring a new employee in a timely manner for them to be trained in order to ensure that a particular area does not become a bottleneck in the project.

Compliance with the hiring goals is a key item for the project’s success. The challenges are great, because they require the recruitment of a significant amount of skilled professionals in a short time. It is important to note that the budget needed for the area of human resources depends on the project schedule, so that extensions in the timeline has a direct impact on that value.


The definition of the project schedule undergoes a thorough technical assessment of the time required for implementation of the various activities, as well as an estimate of annual cash flow. Taking into account these two factors,  completion of the Sirius project is expected for 2020.

The installation of the components of the Synchrotron Light Source will begin with the Linear Accelerator (Linac), followed by the installation of the Booster and the Electron Storage Ring.

In November 2018, the first stage of Sirius was delivered, which included the completion of the construction works and the delivery of the building that houses the entire research infrastructure, in addition to the completion of the assembly of the first two electron accelerators.

The next steps include completing the assembly of the storage ring and the first beamlines. The delivery of the second stage of the project, which includes the start of operation and the opening of the first six beamlines for the scientific community, is scheduled for 2020.

The complete project includes seven more beamlines, expected to be operational by 2021.

International Review

One of the actions necessary to ensure the quality and assertiveness of the project is the periodic evaluation by external committees, composed of experts in synchrotron light from around the world. Thus, some committees come periodically to the LNLS to analyze the developments of the project.

The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is a committee that regularly comes to the LNLS to evaluate the Laboratory as a whole. As part of their duties, there is also the evaluation of the Sirius Beamlines.

The Machine Advisory Committee (MAC) has the main role to evaluate the developments in the Synchrotron Light Source and other facilities, including the construction works. The fourth MAC meeting was held between March 31st and April 2nd, 2015, and the committee was composed by the following members:

Albin Wrulich | PSI – SLS, Switzerland
Helmut Wiedemann | Stanford, USA
Leonid Rivkin | PSI – SLS, Switzerland
Mikael Eriksson | MAX-IV,  Sweden
Nelson Velho de Castro Faria | IF-UFRJ, Brazil
Robert Hettel | SSRL – SLAC, USA
Zhao Zhentang | SSRF – SINAP, Shanghai, China


Finally, throughout the design of the Beamlines for Sirius, different committees, called Beamline Advisory Teams (BATs), are being formed for the evaluation of specific groups of beamlines.

The most recent meeting of the BATs took place simultaneously with the 4th MAC meeting. The committees evaluated in detail four of the projects of the Sirius Beamlines, based on the Conceptual Design Reports (CDR), and made general reviews about six of the other beamlines.

In general, the committees were unanimous about the excellence of the projects and their strong connections with especially relevant scientific cases for the development of the Country.