AfLS-African Regional Infrastructure

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Diouma Kobor (University Assane Seck of Ziguinchor)

 The African Light Source (AfLS)
Strategic Task Force on
African Regional Infrastructure.


These are research infrastructures that are both highly competitive in their own right but also seen as important training and feeder infrastructures to an AdLS. Some current examples are the OpenLabs started in several African countries together by the IUCr, X-TechLab in Benin and the Electron Microscope Unit in Cape Town. The AfLS is seeking volunteers for the new AfLS Strategic Task Forces in these three areas. These new Strategic Task Forces function as temporary Working Groups. They involve the community, policymakers, as well potential hosts/partners towards building the optimal proposal and implementation of the AfLS objectives.

  • Alassane Traore
  • alberto bacci
  • Alebel Nibret Belay
  • Alfred Haavaan Mishi
  • Alimatou DIALLO
  • Aliou BADJI
  • Ansoumane Diedhiou
  • Benedikt Günther
  • Boubacar Sow
  • Charles Wood
  • Diouma Kobor
  • Dr Samuel Odumu Ogana JOHN
  • Eric ZIKI
  • Essodossomondom ANATE
  • Fabé Idrissa Barro
  • Famara Bodian
  • fatou Ka Gueye
  • Fatou ka Gueye
  • Feras Afaneh
  • Fernando Lahoz
  • Galileo Violini
  • Gerardo D'Auria
  • Gihan Kamel
  • Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke
  • Illya Drebot
  • Jean Baptiste Fankam Fankam
  • Joseph Saturnin DIÉMÉ
  • Kayode Dada
  • KEITA Namamoudou Sidiki
  • Klaus Achterhold
  • luca serafini
  • Mamadou Korca BA
  • Mamadou SOW
  • Mame Faty MBAYE
  • Marcello Rossetti Conti
  • Marie NDIAYE
  • Martin Dierolf
  • Masiello Fabio
  • Michael Steinitz
  • Milohum Mikesokpo DZAGLI
  • MONWANOU Vincent Adjimon
  • Mouhamadou SY
  • Moussa TOURÉ
  • Nahla BOUAZIZ
  • ndeye adjaratou diop
  • ndeye coumba Fall
  • Ndeye THIAM
  • Nnamdi Nwakwue
  • Papa Lat Tabara SOW
  • Papis Thecagne
  • Peinda FALL
  • Peter Oluwadamilare Olagbaju
  • Phil Withers
  • Prof. Franz Pfeiffer
  • Raffaele Agostino
  • Renata Longo
  • Rod Loewen
  • Roger Cashmore
  • Rufaro Kawondera
  • Rémi Ndioukane
  • Samuel Tetteh
  • Sanae Samsam
  • Senghane Mbodji
  • Sergey Kutsaev
  • Serigne Massamba SECK
  • Shunmugam Naidoo
  • Simon Connell
  • Tessembou BIAYE
  • Wolf-Dieter Schubert
  • Zachariah Bonat Peter
    • 15:00 15:10
      Welcome & Opening Comments 10m

      Session Moderator: Prof Diouma Kobor and Prof Simon Connell

      This presentation is the context for the session.
      The AfLS Roadmap toward the new large scale research infrastructure requires a well developed network of smaller but very capable national and regional level research infrastructures. These build the community, build the research infrastructure in a well distributed way across the continent, and lead to deep local training and technology transfer. This will provide employment opportunities to combat or reverse the African Science Diaspora and establish a foundation for the future AfLS, without yet the large price-tag. These intermediate milestones increase the logic for Africa to build ultimately the AfLS.

      Speaker: Simon Connell (University of Johannesburg)
    • 15:10 15:30
      Research Agenda for Improving ICS-based Compact Light Source Technology 20m

      This contribution is based on the expertise of Lyncean. We give an overview of the landscape, and consider a "best" design for a CW ICS source. From here we project to what a next generation ICS source may look like, and where this is best suited in the X-ray source landscape. A partnership of established X-ray labs, instrument designers and African research institutions could share the development costs as a science project - and novel features could be introduced to optimise the capacity of such a next generation source.

      Speaker: Rod Loewen
    • 15:30 15:50
      Discussion 20m
      Speaker: Lawrence Norris (African Light Source)
    • 15:50 16:10
      Lab Scale Facilities 20m

      An overview of the different types of X-ray imaging and analytical functions and features of Lab Scale facilities. This talk will look at tomography, molecular structure determination and various spectroscopies for analysis, quantitative imaging, scattering based techniques, diffraction topography as well as more exotic applications.

      Speaker: Dr Fabio Masiello (Panalytical)
    • 16:10 16:30
      What is needed to build a CLS based research infrastructure like STAR and what are the enabled applications towards users 20m

      In this presentation I will describe the resources (funding and human) requested by the construction of a research infrastructure based on an Inverse Compton Scattering source like STAR, under commissioning in Calabria (South Italy) and the technological challenges that must be addressed to develop and maintain such a research infrastructure. ICS sources have a great advantage in their capability to generate advanced X-ray beams in the hard-Xray energy range (100-500 keV) with relatively compact machines, whose cost is in the range O(10 M$), an order of magnitude smaller than a typical synchrotron light source. Advanced X-ray imaging using micro-tomography of thick metallic objects as typical of archeological artefacts can be successfully carried out with ICS like STAR thanks to the tunability, mono-chromaticity, polarisation, collimation and time structure (short pulses) of the generated X-ray beams, together with possible dual-color option for K-edge subtraction imaging. STAR is equipped with two beam lines to cover all possible X-ray spectrum of interest. A low energy beam line generating photon beams in the 20-100 keV energy range, and a high energy beamline serving applications in the 80-350 keV range. STAR has been completely assembled and partially tested so far, and is waiting for the radio-protection authorisation to start beam operation, that is expect to happen by the end of 2023.

      Speaker: Prof. Luca Serafini (INFN)
    • 16:30 16:50
      The Munich Compact Light Source – a laboratory-scale synchrotron facility for biomedical research 20m

      Synchrotron X-ray sources have enabled scientists to push the limits of X-ray imaging towards nanometer resolution and extremely high sensitivity. However, for many of the techniques developed, the transition from synchrotron to preclinical or even clinical imaging is not straightforward. This is mainly due to the rather different characteristics of the X-ray tube sources typically used in the latter cases. The Munich Compact Light Source (MuCLS) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) fills this performance gap and aims to provide an X-ray facility that allows modern synchrotron techniques to be applied in a university research laboratory environment. It consists of a commercial inverse Compton X-ray source (Lyncean Technologies Inc., formerly of Fremont, USA) and a beamline with two end stations designed and built by TUM scientists [1, 2].
      The different applications exploit the unique properties of the MuCLS beam for a laboratory source [2]: The narrow tunable spectrum allows quantitative computed tomography (CT) without beam hardening [3], K-edge imaging [4, 5] or absorption spectroscopy [6]. The relatively high flux density allows radiotherapy studies [7], high-resolution micro-CT and fast dynamic imaging, e.g. for the study of respiratory processes [8, 9]. Finally, the partial coherence of the source enables grating-based phase-contrast and dark-field imaging [10-15], as well as propagation-based phase-contrast imaging [8].
      Following a discussion of the X-ray source and the beamline, exemplary results for several of the aforementioned applications will be presented.

      Speaker: Prof. Franz Pfeiffer (Munich Institute for Biomedical Engineering )
    • 16:50 17:10
      The Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument 20m

      portable X-ray fluorescence detection devices. The talk will be focus on how such instrument could participate to training and increasing African researchers skills in Xray Fluorescence detectors. What kind of applications, advantages and limits.

      Speaker: Prof. Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke
    • 17:10 17:40
      Panel Discussion 30m

      Moderator: Philip Kurian, Howard University.

      All previous speakers are panelists
      The floor can discuss matters towards developing a narrative about the role and description of African Regional Infrastructure as milestones on the Roadmap toward the African Light Source

      1. A very small but highly competent X-ray analytical device for XRF. Cost around €10k. Could do scanning if used with a XY transnational stage. Example shown for discovery of hidden character in papyrus. This led to a Synchrotron study. This is an excellent example of how local infrastructure is both excellent in its own right and feeder infrastructure for access to a synchrotron (training, indication of science content in the study to be taken further)

      2. The lab scale equipment, many different modalities of X-ray based analysis : Imaging, diffraction, spectroscopy, many disciplines. Cost €1M

      3. CLS equipment. Cost €12M

      4. All the ARI considered, are excellent milestones on the Roadmap.good part of the Roadmap. They are complimentary. They have different price tags, they build the case towards the ultimate large scale infrastructure ... the AdLS. The logic towards the AfLS is built by all. They allow gradual incremental spend building up to the AdLS level spend. They provide for retention of African emerging researchers.

      5. The budget must include operational costs, typically 10% of the commissioning costs per year. Otherwise, without this, running equipment (maintaining, developing) in Africa is a problem

      6. START, Instruct-ERIC … important for training missions

      7. Energy Requirements

      • STAR is 300kW

      • SESAME 6MW, fully solar

      • MuCLS is 150kW

      • Trieste is 2MW