Diamond’s software is vital to user productivity. It can increase throughput by automating collections and aiding non-expert users, and in some cases by running entirely unattended experiments. As more control is handed to software, users will be able to ask beamlines questions rather than just tell them what to do. Acquisition like this will depend on analysis software knowing what data to collect and when to stop collecting it; and perhaps even to inform what data are showing a key observation. An interesting side effect will be that we will be capturing and archiving the intention of an experiment along with the data and results. Improving the way acquisition and analysis software fits together is the key to meeting the needs of users at Diamond.
Generic Data Acquisition software
Experiments at almost all of Diamond’s beamlines are run using our Generic Data Acquisition (GDA) software. This provides a graphical user interface customised for particular scientific techniques or operations. Different beamlines performing similar techniques such as spectroscopy or mapping have a consistent and coherent interface to simplify the user experience.
Data Analysis Workbench (DAWN)
DAWN, one of the main data analysis tools at Diamond, has continued to add new features for general data visualisation (especially mapped data collections), as well as for processing and analysis in specific science fields (including Pair Distribution Function and PhotoEmission Electron Microscopy). The release of DAWN 2.0 in spring 2016 also saw a significant update to the software infrastructure, along with new tools to facilitate sharing and developments between scientific programmers.
Tomographic reconstruction of a bone dataset using Savu (3D-rendered using VisIt). Courtesy of Gianluca Tozzi, Marta Pena-Fernandez, Rachna Parwani, and Asa H. Barber (2016) from Portsmouth University. Data collected on the Diamond Manchester Imaging Branchline (I13-2) with support from Andrew J. Bodey.
Many synchrotron beamlines offer some form of continuous scanning in which data is collected while a sample is in motion. However, this had been done on an ad hoc beamline by beamline basis. The Data Analysis, Data Acquisition, and Controls groups have started working on a large project to improve the performance and usability of mapping experiments at Diamond.
Electron density from Sucrose, data recorded on I19, processed with xia2/DIALS and solved automatically. The hydrogen atoms have not been included in the model at this stage, so the charge for the missing electrons is visible in the map in green.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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