Managing discovery risks--A Tevatron case study

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To meet the increasing need for higher performance, Management of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has undertaken various projects to improve systems associated with the Tevatron high-energy particle collider located at Batavia, Illinois. One of the larger projects is the Tevatron Beam Position Monitor (BPM) system. The objective of this project is to replace the existing BPM electronics and software system that was originally installed during early 1980s, along with the original construction of the Tevatron.The original system consists of 236 beam position monitors located around the underground tunnel of the accelerator. Above ground control systems are attached to these monitors ... continued below

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249 Kilobytes pages

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Banerjee, Bakul July 28, 2004.

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To meet the increasing need for higher performance, Management of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has undertaken various projects to improve systems associated with the Tevatron high-energy particle collider located at Batavia, Illinois. One of the larger projects is the Tevatron Beam Position Monitor (BPM) system. The objective of this project is to replace the existing BPM electronics and software system that was originally installed during early 1980s, along with the original construction of the Tevatron.The original system consists of 236 beam position monitors located around the underground tunnel of the accelerator. Above ground control systems are attached to these monitors using pickup cables. When the Tevatron collider is operational, signals received from the BPMs are used to perform a number of control and diagnostic tasks. The original system can only capture the proton signals from the collider. The new system, when fully operational, will be able to capture combined proton and antiproton signals and will be able to separate the antiproton signal from the combined signal at high resolution. This significant enhancement was beyond the range of technical capabilities when the Tevatron was constructed about two decades ago. To take advantage of exceptional progress made in the hardware and software area in past two decades, Department of Energy approved funding of the BPM electronics and software replacement project. The approximate length of the project is sixteen months with a budget of four million dollars not including overhead, escalation, and contingencies. Apart from cost and schedule risks, there are two major risks associated with this research and development project. The primary risk is the risk of discovery. Since the Tevatron beam path is highly complex, BPMs have to acquire and process a large amount of data. In this environment, analysis of data to separate antiproton signals is even more complex. Finding an optimum algorithm that can be implemented with current state of the art hardware and software technology is even more complex. The second most important risk is the risk of unavailability of the premiere high energy physics scientific facility to worldwide users. This paper presents a model of minimizing these risks using a phased model of project management. To complete the project successfully, it is essential to keep track of the constraints imposed by uncertainties in the discovery phase while maintaining the highest possible availability of the Tevatron. In this paper, a methodology based on earned value management system is explained to measure and manage discovery risks. Metrics based on the initial basis of estimate and familiar earned value measures are used to monitor risks of discovery. Subsequently, these metrics are used to refine the project and adjust tasks and resource assignments to minimize the unavailability of the user facility. One of the measures is the variance at phase completion. From the phased model of the WBS, variance at completion is examined for various project baselines at the end of project phases. This allowed for understanding the risk of not only cost and schedule, but also the discovery risks. Since similar risk measurement data is not available within the organization, these metrics will also allow us to define risk baselines for future scientific projects that involve discovery along with state of the art system development.

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249 Kilobytes pages

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  • 5th Annual IEEE-UT Engineering Management Conference, Austin, TX (US), 08/12/2004--08/13/2004

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-Conf-04/128-CD
  • Grant Number: AC02-76CH03000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 826396
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc781210

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  • July 28, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Aug. 4, 2016, 7:48 p.m.

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Banerjee, Bakul. Managing discovery risks--A Tevatron case study, article, July 28, 2004; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc781210/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.