IPAC'22 in Bangkok: A Breath of Fresh Air

I believe most of us participating at IPAC'22 breathed a sigh of relief as we gathered in Bangkok from the 12th to the 17th of June 2022 at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center.

How to Build the Perfect Fusion Plant: A Technical Architect’s Perspective

Fusion promises to free humankind from the woes of limited and expensive energy production. The route to practical and affordable fusion powerplants has been long and twisty. Probably the shortest route – iter in Latin – to the scientific validation of the fusion concept will be the ITER project in France, arguably the global outlier in the scientific development of fusion technology. When ITER achieves its goal of sustaining a human-made artificial star in its toroidal magnetic field, the end of using uranium or plutonium fuel rods in fission reactors and consuming fossil fuel in coal-burning powerplants will be in sight.
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Fusion and the Industry: Today and Tomorrow

One of the longest-standing jokes in experimental physics has been that affordable fusion energy is just around the corner – with the punchline that the corner lies twenty-five years in the future. States and international consortiums of countries have been investing large sums of money in prominent scientific fusion projects for years. Among these are the British Joint European Torus (JET), South Korea's KSTAR reactor, the international ITER fusion project, Germany's Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator, and China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST).
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Reliable Laser Communications Between Space and Ground

In March 2022, Cosylab organised the conference discussion "Enabling reliable infrastructure for laser communications between space and ground" at the Paris Space Week 2022. The roundtable discussion was moderated by Cosylab's Tadej Pukl and included the following panellists: Daniel J.M. Hendrix from Airbus Defence & Space Dutch Technology (ADS NL), Olivier Jacques-Sermet from Cailabs and Miha Vitorovic and Harshraj Raiji from Cosylab. The roundtable discussed the increasingly important domain of optical communication between ground and space, both in its current state and regarding future developments, including market trends.
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Bringing a Revolutionary Quantum Microscope to Market in Only Six Months

Qnami is a young quantum technology startup based in Basel, Switzerland. With more than 60 years of collective Quantum knowledge, Qnami’s team enthusiastically develops microscopy solutions based on quantum sensors to measure minute magnetic fields with unprecedented sensitivity and spatial resolution. Qnami ProteusQ is the first complete Quantum Microscope system. It is a scanning NV (Nitrogen-Vacancy) microscope for room temperature analysis of magnetic materials at the atomic scale.

Upgrading the Timing System at HZDR ELBE

Demanding Big Physics facilities and experiments require increasingly complex yet reliable timing systems. Features such as virtual accelerators, timing super-cycles and event acknowledgements are becoming more common.

A Generic Control-System Stack on MicroTCA for Data Acquisition

Among humankind's most pivotal projects are Big Physics experiments investigating the foundations of fusion, fundamental particles, origins of the Universe, the structure of materials, biochemical reactions, and much more. On the other hand, MicroTCA (MTCA) is an open-standard architecture for switched fabric computer systems. Its .4 standard module (MicroTCA.4) increases PCB-space and modularity and is geared towards use in large-scale scientific facilities. With its I/O backplane architecture, MicroTCA is becoming one of the de-facto COTS (commercial off-the-shelf systems) standards in Big Physics, having been already wholly accepted by the high-energy physics community.

LabVIEW and Accelerator Control Systems

Every particle accelerator must have a commanding system that controls and monitors hundreds of various devices and subsystems with sub-microsecond synchronisation. Good architecture and design is the key to building modular, scalable, maintainable, and testable software. This is especially true for large systems such as control systems for accelerators which require high uptime, reliability and scalability for long term operation and future upgrades.Therefore, the accelerator control system (ACS) is an extensive and complex piece of software that must supervise the correct and safe performance of all devices integrated into the machine. The system has to guarantee dependability, stability and performance. It must also be extensively modular and configurable to meet new current and especially future demands.

A Fast Integration of PLCs and EPICS

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have been widely used in industrial control systems for many years now, such as aviation, automotive, processing, production assembly-line, manufacturing, energy and oil-processing industry. Engineers find PLCs simple to program and capable of controlling a multitude of automatic processes. PLCs contain microcontroller units (MCUs) whose capabilities have increased steadily with time, making PLCs much more capable than a decade ago and ready to tackle new challenges in system automation.
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IPAC 2021: Light sources and the rest

Two years ago, it was a completely different experience with Big Physics events! People who were attending such events from Cosylab were often in the air, high above the oceans separating the world's continents. A good example is the 2019 IPAC event hosted in Melbourne, which Cosylab visited in person. Of course, due to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, IPAC 2021 was a wholly virtual event. The latter was organised from the 24th to the 28th of May 2021 by the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), located in Campinas. And in the opinion of my colleagues and my own, the conference was most likely the best possible within the constraints of its virtual format.