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The new structure further positions Diamond well for the developments needed for software and computing in preparation for Diamond-II, which will produce data rates and data volumes far in excess of Diamond. Some initial considerations of the detectors in the Diamond-II era indicate raw data rates in Petabytes (PB) per hour as being credible. These data rates will make acquisition and analysis very challenging and require new solutions such as Machine Learning to be able to effectively analyse the data. At these data rates, the growth of data volumes will substantially exceed the increases in computing due to technological progress (Moore’s law giving a doubling on computing power every two years), and so will require developments in the storage and compute resource available on-site and off-site.
The increasing demands for data acquisition and subsequent data processing are driving Diamond to not only invest in new, additional, computational capacity on-premise, but to also explore the use of the cloud.
Odin is a software framework for Data Acquisition (DAQ) and Control of high-performance detector systems. It is the result of a close collaboration between STFC Technology Department and Diamond’s Beamline Controls Group over several years. The software framework provides a highly scalable DAQ software pipeline to capture data from the latest and fastest new detectors, and is designed to cater for further developments in fast detectors. Easy integration and roll-out to beamlines is supported through the EPICS area Detector interface that most imaging detectors at Diamond use.
PandABox is a collaborative development project between Synchrotron SOLEIL and Diamond; with SOLEIL responsible for the hardware and Diamond for the firmware and software. It provides a highly flexible solution to enable new hardware synchronisation techniques in sample scanning. PandABox was a key component in speeding up scanning of samples delivered by the Mapping Project, improving scanning rates from 5 Hz up to 300 Hz on some beamlines. Some recent developments will enable 10kHz scanning to be delivered in areas like the Ptychography project.
Diamond’s Generic Data Acquisition (GDA) system, used on the majority of beamlines, is a Java based Client Server Application that provides beamline experiment orchestration, data collection and real-time data visualisation managed through a customisable Graphical User Interface and Python syntax scripting environment.
In order to study the life stage of viruses, scientists working in our state-of-the-art electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC) have collected a three-dimensional snapshot of rheovirus particles replicating inside mammalian cells 12 hours post-infection. This data was acquired using Cryo-Electron Tomography, a technique in which a thin slice of frozen material is tilted through a range of angles in the microscope and a sequence of images are recorded. These images are then reconstructed into the 3D volume using computational techniques.
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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