Cosylab_IPAC 21

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.
Cosylab Cooler Synchrotron

A case of Improved Beam Control at COSY Jülich

The COSY (Cooler Synchrotron) is a German particle accelerator and storage ring operated by the Institute of Nuclear Physics (IKP) at Forschungszentrum Jülich that employs beam cooling. The latter helps particles follow more closely their predetermined path. COSY is one of the only accelerators in the medium energy range that uses both stochastic and electron cooling. A few years ago, the need arose to improve the beam control at the Jülich centre, and Cosylab was invited to participate in the project.

A Human Machine Interface fit for SCADA

In Cosylab, we perform a lot of work on control systems for various domains and applications. We also complete our fair share of SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) systems that are getting more popular in the scientific and medical domain due to their steadily evolving capabilities as a real-time system. One of the recurring tasks was finding the best solution sweet-spot system for constructing a project-specific SCADA's HMIs.

A Checklist for a Modern Control System

In the last decade, control system development for Big Science facilities has become an established engineering discipline and less of a scientific endeavour that it expectedly was, at times, characterised by the "not-invented-here" viewpoint.
How to perform a Control Systems Project: The Example of BBCS

How to Perform a Control Systems Project: The Example of BBCS

As early as 2012, the consulting firm McKinsey&Co determined that "half of all large IT projects massively overblow their budget". This finding, consistent across industries, also threatens big science projects in general, and their control-system integration programmes specifically. Our company has been an external contributor to integrating control systems for large scientific installations and sites worldwide for almost twenty years. I am going to describe what methodology we usually use as the most effective in control-system projects.

A Compact and Fast Build System, Fit for a Ninja

As all software developers, C++ programmers face annoyances in their typical workday behind the keyboard, but some of them are especially tedious. One type of the latter is unwanted periods of inactivity while waiting for the source code of a large project to compile.

One-click Environments with Docker can Ease a Developer's Life

There is a misconception in software engineering that DevOps is only about Continuous Integration (CI), that is, writing, modifying and testing code that you push to Git. While CI is essential and I wholeheartedly endorse it, it far from the only area on which DevOps focuses. In this article, I will talk about one aspect of DevOps that is rarely taken into consideration – having a “one-click environment” on your project.

Research and Medical Physics Landscape in China

I will briefly go through some Chinese medical-physics and scientific projects and initiatives that we find especially compelling. Nevertheless; when engineering companies describe their experiences in China, the results are similar to those in the Buddhist parable where blind men describe an elephant, each detailing a different body part. So, let me describe the elephant’s leg.

My Travels: A Look at the Trio of Unbeatable 2019 Events in Big Physics

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

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.