My travels: a look at the trio of unbeatable 2019 events in Big Physics

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At Cosylab we try to stay on our toes all the time, maintaining and strengthening our ties with industry, our partners and our customers in the domain of Big Physics. Hopefully, we are letting future clients know that we are ready to help them, too with their engineering challenges in controlling systems. On the other hand, the analogy of keeping ourselves on our toes is, perhaps, not the most fortunate one, as we at Cosylab also travel a lot with our toes in the air, high above the oceans separating the world's continents. A good example is 2019 when we flew over multiple continents to visit a trio of the most significant events of the scientific community - IPAC, IBIC and ICALEPCS in Melbourne, Malmö and Brooklyn, respectively.

How Cosylab and SINAP Collaborated on Producing a Fast Machine Interlock System

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A fast, flexible and reliable machine interlock system (MIS) is a safety feature that every machine needs to prevent it from harming its users or damaging itself, primarily when it operates at high energies. Even most machines in everyday use have an MIS, such as cars, clothes-washers, lifts and microwave ovens, but so do Big Physics machines, which often operate at quite high energy levels.

The ELI-NP GBS CS: A Tale of Engineering a Complete EPICS Control System

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Extreme Light Infrastructure Nuclear Physics is a Big Science facility being built in Magurele, Romania, and is slated to become the most advanced, highly intense laser and gamma beam facility in the world. Cosylab, as a subcontractor for the EuroGammaS Consortium, assumed the responsibility for defining the scope and the delivery of the complete control system for the Gamma Beam System, based on the industry-standard EPICS framework.

CTA, Gamma Rays and the Slovenian Connection

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The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is new global array of land-based gamma-ray detectors that will allow further studies in high energy astrophysics, cosmology and fundamental physics, especially those of the most energy-intensive phenomena in the Cosmos.

When SCADA is the right solution

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Throughout Cosylab’s past work of developing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solutions, we’ve noticed a lack of understanding of the SCADA role in a system when we are asked to provide a SCADA solution. This lack of understanding poses a risk when it comes to whether our customers will find our solution useful for their work in the end or not. Since it is in our best interests to provide useful solutions to our customers and since this is also what we strive for, I’ve decided to share what I see as a role of a SCADA. In the case when a SCADA is really the right solution for the given problem, then I list the questions that need to be asked to design a SCADA solution that will be useful. My ultimate aim is to bring clarity to those thinking about whether they need a SCADA or not.

Control System for Lasers at HiLASE

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We present the current state of the HiLASE Centre control system developed in cooperation with Cosylab. The aim of the development is to build a control system which would be in charge of the operation of kW-class in-house developed laser beamlines. These beamlines deliver picosecond pulses with repetition rates between 1 kHz and 1 MHz and high-energy nanosecond pulses at 10 Hz. A generic control system architecture is presented, which can either support full-size development lasers or compact industrial versions. The EPICS control system work focuses on image acquisition and processing, vacuum control, provision of timing, archiving and user interfaces. HiLASE provides highlevel requirements, Cosylab complements them, provides the design of the solution and implementation. Delivery is performed during on-site visits where a test plan is executed for acceptance. This approach relieves HiLASE of the need to hire and manage their own team while retaining full control over the functionality through requirements and acceptance approval. Cosylab complements HiLASE with self-managed teams that deliver to specification.

A Novel Approach to Triggering and Beam Synchronous Data Acquisition

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SwissFEL, the new Free-Electron Laser facility is a 740 m long accelerator with the goal of providing pulses of light between 6 and 30 fs long at a wavelength of 1 to 7 Å at 100 Hz [1], [2]. To support shot-to-shot photon diagnostic [1] and link the measurements to other measurements along the machine that belong to the same machine pulse, a new triggering and data acquisition system was developed. A new protocol was introduced which allows deterministic triggering, configuration and data transfer via one full-duplex optical connection. The measurement data is stamped with an unique pulse identifier, delivered from the SwissFEL Timing System [2], [5]. A readout and control interface was developed to support data delivery to the Data Acquisition Dispatching Layer [1][3] and for controlling the system.

MYRRHA DAQ Development

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Cosylab has been contributing to the MYRRHA project since at least 2012. The recent work on the implementation of a generic data acquisition solution for the MYRRHA test stand at Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) was reported at IPAC19 in Melbourne, Australia. This article captures the key technical elements of the IPAC presentation.

The Accelerator Validating Antimatter Physics (AVA) Project

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The AVA project focuses on research but also emphasizes outreach and training for fellows. As partners come from industry, universities and research centers working on particle accelerators, the mentors on the AVA project have a wide range of expertise.