Home News A visit to and extensive exchange of information at Diamond Light Source

A visit to and extensive exchange of information at Diamond Light Source

5th September 2019

2019 is a year of important upgrades to the Powder Diffraction and Total Scattering beamline P02.1 at PETRA III (DESY Hamburg, Germany). One major upgrade task concerns the implementation of a second 2D detector stage. This includes the implementation of synchronization and computing infrastructure to run both detectors in parallel in various configurations.

Grahic © Mario Wendt (DESY)

Beamline I15-I at Diamond Light Source (UK) has a remarkably similar setup of detectors, so it seemed natural to reach out and discuss the similarities and differences, as well as the design choices they had followed.

Within this CALIPSOplus Staff Exchange Programme visit to Diamond Light Source meetings with members of all groups involved in the two detector setup at I15-I were held, i.e. beamline staff, data acquisition group, data analysis group, controls group and diagnostics group. Needless to say, that these were very intense three days.

The whole first day was dedicated to talking to the beamline staff. This was a natural starting point as their day to day business is running the detectors and they receive first hand feedback from the users. Their in-depth knowledge of the overall system layout also proved very valuable. For instance there are certain detector models (one of which is installed at DESY as well), that can only be trigger via the connector directly at the detector. For these models the trigger input on the controller card in the detector PC is completely ignored. Luckily for us we had not yet put the trigger cables in place and could easily accommodate this change of plan. When it came to user experience, we found that we have very similar ideas of what and how the graphical user interface should be like. Even though the underlying control software at Diamond is different, general design aspects are universal.

A literal glimpse behind the graphical user interface was made possible by meeting members of the data acquisition and analysis groups. We exchanged many ideas on different online analysis concepts. Some of these are going to be implemented at P02.1 in the near future, i.e. a quick data reduction functionality and data quality feedback. Others, like online radiographic or tomographic reconstruction pipelines, will be considered in future upgrades to our software.
On the last day, I had the chance to talk to the developers of the timing system we are using, Quantum Detectors Ltd. – a spin-out from the Diamond Light Source and Science and Technology Facilities Council. Again, meeting in person and developing ideas and solutions on a whiteboard together was very productive.

I am very grateful the CALIPSOplus Staff Exchange Programme provided me with this opportunity and thankful to all the people at Diamond who made my stay there so interesting and enjoyable!

Grahic © Mario Wendt (DESY)
Text © Alexander Schoekel (DESY)