Australian Synchrotron XAS Beamline

Accel Instruments has brought in consultants from Observatory Sciences to assist with beamline software for the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne. The Australian Synchrotron facility is a 3GeV third-generation synchrotron and is a significant addition to the country's science infrastructure, providing researchers with access to world-leading technology not previously available in Australia.

First light for the synchrotron was achieved in July 2006 with beamlines available to external researchers from June 2007. Installation, commissioning and accelerator studies have been running across four eight-hour shifts with the beamlines available for research for the remainder of the weekly operating cycle. The team is working hard to optimise beamline performance, and it is anticipated that the beamlines will be available 24 hours per day for the new round of user experiments running from January 2008. Accel was contracted to work on the XAS X-ray absorption spectroscopy beamline. The XAS beamline wiggler was air freighted to Melbourne for installation in December 2006, closely followed by the XAS beamline itself following factory acceptance tests at the Accel facilities in Germany. Stage one commissioning began on the beamline in March 2007, with the first commissioning experiments conducted in September 2007, and the first user experiments conducted in December 2007.

Software work done by OSL for the XAS beamline included writing a Linux driver for the Delta Tau PMAC motion controller as well as cryocooler and vacuum controls software. During March 2007, on-site commissioning work was carried out in Melbourne by OSL.

Whilst the partnership with Accel on the Australian Synchrotron project is new, this is not the first involvement from OSL on the A$200m facility. When the EPICS toolkit was selected as the software environment for the system controls, consultants from Observatory Sciences travelled to Melbourne to deliver initial training on the EPICS toolkit. Based in Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne, Germany, Accel Instruments is a specialised engineering and manufacturing company producing custom designed research and industrial equipment.

One of the leading players in its field, Accel offers a range of project management services, manufacturing technologies and engineering capabilities to companies and research facilities worldwide.

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