Collaborative XDC: cXDC

G. Bunker and J. Schug
Illinois Institute of Technology, Physics Department

BioCAT is in the process of designing and implementing a beamline control and data acquisition software architecture with some characteristics of EPICS, but at a higher conceptual level, that will provide the following benefits:

* a standard set of capabilities and operational functions which will allow experiments and equipment to be combined in novel ways,
* clean separation of user interface from beamline control which will allow both local, web, dialup, and hand-held control of the beamline, as well as context sensitive help and other benefits
* security features which protect beamlines from inadvertent miscalibration or misuse by users (and tired operators), and assist the user in setting up and calibrating the beamline,
* an interface to a scripting language to provide for combining high level operations, and
* a framework for supporting hardware not controlled via EPICS which allows integration of non-standard equipment into the beamline operation.

This approach is based on extensive experience supporting both general users and sophisticated experimenters at the NSLS.

On the BioCAT beamline, the cXDC layer will interact with low level and mid-level device support, for example EPICS, and Bill Lavender's MX package (see abstract). This architecture provides a large degree of flexibility in trading off operational simplicity for performance when configuring new experimental protocols.

(posted 13-Nov-97 jw)