DESY begins transition to Secured Normal Operation

Corona research will be expanded further

Corona virus research at DESY's X-ray source PETRA III. Credit: DESY, Marta Mayer

After the decisions of the federal and state governments on cautious relaxation of the corona measures, DESY will start this week with an adjustment of the current Reduced Operating Mode. This includes a restart of the research facilities and a resumption of a large part of the research operations at the DESY sites in Hamburg and Zeuthen. However, this does not mean a return to operation from the times before the Corona pandemic, the DESY Directorate emphasized.

“We will not take any risks,” emphasised Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors. “We will introduce and implement cautious relaxation measures at our two sites, which can lead us step by step and with utmost caution to a future so-called Secured Normal Operation.” All measures will be carried out under clear guidelines to strictly avoid any new infections. Special safety requirements such as adherence to hygiene and distance rules and the wearing of protective masks are necessary at least until a vaccine is available. It is also still necessary to react flexibly to the special care tasks that exist in many families, especially due to closed daycare centres and schools.

On 16 March, DESY had gradually switched to the so-called Reduced Operating Mode. Apart from the implementation of the necessary safety measures, the main points of the Reduced Operating Mode were the reduction of the staff present on the campus, the shutdown of user operations and the shutdown of the FLASH and PITZ facilities, the DESY test beam and last but not least the European XFEL accelerator. The X-ray light source PETRA III continued to operate, since the facility could be operated in a safe mode for essential research on the corona virus even under pandemic conditions.

“DESY is making important and valuable contributions to the fight against this pandemic, among other things by providing our synchrotron radiation source PETRA III and the associated infrastructures, where many cooperation projects with infection experts have been carried out for several weeks now,” emphasised Dosch. DESY intends to further expand and promote this research in the future.