A High Performance Data Acquisition System for Structural Biology
M. Westbrook, T. Coleman, R. Daly
Research in structural biology conducted at synchrotron sources using large area electronic
detectors represents a significant challenge for beamline control and data acquisition systems. An
An overwhelming quantity of data and rapid data rates must be successfully accomodated in order to
achieve data acquisition in near-realtime. These control and data acquisition systems are also
interfaced with data analysis applications, which further complicates the task.
An EPICS-based data acquisition system developed for the Structural Biology Center, APS Sector
19, will be presented. The SBC-CAT data acquisition system has been designed for speed, using both
specialized hardware and EPICS-features to conduct data acquisition tasks in parallel. Each 18
MB image can be acquired and written to disk in less than 3 seconds. This data acquisition system
has also been interfaced to d*TREK, a single-crystal macromolecular x-ray diffraction analysis
package, written by Jim Pflugrath, Molecular Structure Corporation. This represents an integrated
approach to data acquisition and analysis. Currently for the SBC, data analysis is the rate limit.
This presentation will highlight the use of the distributed nature of EPICS to increase data
acquisition system performance and will discuss the EPICS interface to the d*TREK dtcollect
application implemented in c++ by Jim Pflugrath, Molecular Structure Corporation.
Argonne National Laboratory, Electronics and Computing Technologies
(posted 15-Oct-97 jw)