Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

TXM Experiment Control Software

Experiment control system for tomography beamlines that interfaces with EPICS for beamline control and provides configurable scanning via Python scripts or a GUI-based scan builder, live and offline data viewing, basic image manipulation features, and scan sequencing that coordinates EPICS-enabled apparatus.


SSG-TXMTXM is an experiment control and data processing system for tomography beamlines. The software, written in C++ using Qt, interfaces with EPICS for beamline control and provides live and offline data viewing, basic image manipulation features, and scan sequencing that coordinates EPICS-enabled apparatus.

Configurable scanning is the most important feature of the experiment control software. The system is designed to be extensible and easy for a non-expert user to configure. Users can create new scans and configure all scan parameters via the user interface. User can also communicate with custom Python scripts for more sophisticated scans.

Live and offline data can be displayed. The application can capture single, multiple, or continually streamed images. All standard areaDetector properties such as binning, region-of-interest (ROI), gain, exposure time, acquire period, data type, image mode, etc. can be configured. Detector-specific features exposed with Area Detector may also be made accessible.
Graphical annotations are available as image overlays for simple analysis or system calibration. A marker annotation allows users to mark static points in the image. A calibrated ruler annotation allows quick measurements in user-defined units.
Color maps and contrast can be adjusted by setting RGB values, and the low and high values can be clamped using a graphical editor. An auto-levels function searches for the lowest and highest non-zero value and clamps the map appropriately.
EPICS-enabled devices, such as motors, are displayed on a separate calibration window. These devices may be configured dynamically via the application’s preferences window. Devices may be added, removed, or disabled during run time. The addition or removal of devices is reflected automatically in the user interface without the need to edit traditional display manager configuration files.
This system is in regular use at 2-BM and 32-ID for micro- and nano-tomography experiments, and is being deployed for scanning probe use.

N. Schwarz, Khan, F., Yue, K., Hammonds, J., De Carlo, F., “Experiment Control and Analysis for High-Resolution Tomography,” Proceedings of ICALEPCS 2013 – the 14th International Conference on Accelerator and Large Experimental Physics Control Systems, San Francisco, California, 10/07/2013 – 10/11/2013.


The TXM experiment control system was developed, and is supported and maintained by Arthur Glowacki, Ke Yue, Faisal Khan, John Hammonds, and Dariusz Jarosz of the XSD Scientific Software Engineering & Data Management group (XSD-SDM) in collaboration with Francesco De Carlo and others from the XSD Imaging group (XSD-IMG) with funding from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Argonne National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit