The Control Systems Group is responsible for design, implementation and operational support for the control systems for the three accelerators and the beamlines that make up the Diamond facility. These responsibilities include software engineering, systems engineering and electronics design activities.
The distributed control system for the Diamond facility is realised using embedded computer systems interfaced to the equipment being controlled. These are connected across a network to workstations that provide the operator interface and other functionality, such as archiving historical information. The software development for the control system is built on the EPICS control system tool kit.
Specific activities of the Control Systems Group include:
- Software design and implementation to realise control and monitoring of the technical systems ( PSUs, Diagnostics, Vacuum, RF, Alignment, Health Physics and Machine Protection) required for the Diamond accelerators. Notable software developments have been undertaken for diagnostics hardware to measure electron beam position, instrumentation to produce and measure vacuum, the control of high stability power supplies and communications protocols for PLCs.
- Software design and implementation to realise the transport of high stability photon beams from the Diamond storage ring to the experimental samples.
- Unix system and application software development and management, including physics simulation of accelerators, high level control applications for routine operation, technical support and accelerator physics activities.
- Development of relational databases to capture control system information, and managing other logistical functions relating to the large numbers of components used on Diamond.
- Development of embedded software using digital signal processing techniques to realise the regulation of PSUs required to energise the magnets in the accelerators.
- Electronic design and FPGA development for specific hardware requirements including electronics modules for machine protection on the accelerators, and VHDL modules to realise low latency data distribution as part of a fast beam position feedback system.
- PLC based designs for a range of low level control and interlocking functions and the development of PLC software.
- The design and implementation of the personnel safety system, a high integrity safety system to prevent access when hazards from the accelerator and photon beams are present.