Problem: A common feature of controlling experments at Synchrotron light sources is the requirement to precisely deliver an X-ray beam on to a sample. This requires the alignment of a number of optical elements (OEs) that influence the course and characteristics of that beam. Different hardware will need to be used to deliver motion control of the OEs. A generic user interface is required across multiple scientific techniques to deliver alignment control.
Solution: At STFC Daresbury Laboratory we collaborated in the development of a common user interface and underlying control framework. The relevant levels of motion control are modelled and implemented in a software framework. Interfaces are used to hide specific details of implementation whilst also allowing a 'plug and play' approach to individual system configuration. A flexible GUI was built on top of this to allow easy control of individual and combined motions of OEs.
Benefits: The system allows simple and efficient manual alignment of beamline components to provide an X-ray beam to a sample position. Further automation can be built on top of this using the same underlying control.
Multiple facilities use the GUI, irrespective of the underlying hardware, and can be more effective as a result.
Acknowledgments: Developed as employees of STFC Daresbury Laboratory
© 2008 Science and Technology Facilities Council