Competition for underground laboratory space is fierce
Major USA-funded experiments recently chose underground labs in Canada and Italy because they have space available now. Sanford Underground Research Facility must expand to remain competitive worldwide and to continue drawing world-leading research to South Dakota.
In July 2022, the U.S. particle physics community met in Seattle to develop their 10-year strategic vision for the future of underground science and plans for next-generation experiments. This vision will drive future federal funding priorities for science. SURF participated in these discussions and received strong support from the U.S. particle physics community to expand its underground footprint to host next-generation, world-leading experiments and help the United States remain a world leader in research. As the SURF operator, the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) developed a phased plan to expand the SURF underground footprint to host up to six additional major experiments on the 4850-foot level.
The U.S. Particle Physics community strongly recommended that new underground space be excavated on the 4850-foot Level of SURF to house next-generation experiments.
In 2023, the State of South Dakota allocated $13M to fund Phase One of the expansion plan.
Projected Net Economic Impact
Jobs Created over 10 years
SURF's Current Impact
SURF currently hosts 29 ongoing research projects. Members from South Dakota universities are involved in 24 of the 29 ongoing research projects at SURF. Additionally, SURF's education program reached thousands of students and teachers across the state.