TANGO control system for In-Vacuum Undulator

Image of an in-vacuum undulator.

Observatory Sciences has completed its first major project based on TANGO software.

Working with the Danish equipment supplier Danfysik, Observatory Sciences has completed a TANGO software control system for an in-vacuum undulator. Observatory Sciences worked on the control system for the in-vacuum undulator, in partnership with Danfysik and working with Heason Technology who are providing the control hardware.

TANGO is becoming increasingly popular in big science projects and helps provide large scale distributed control systems for synchrotrons and laser systems. Such distributed control systems may comprise hundreds of computers, networked to control equipment and analyse results from experiments.

"The TANGO control software toolkit is being sustained by an open source community and is constantly improving," explains Philip Taylor of Observatory Sciences. "It is easy to develop new functions and features to suit specific needs, and these contributions will be in the public domain so that others can use them too."

The TANGO toolkit design is based on the concept of distributed devices or objects and provides native support for multiple programming languages. The toolkit implements a full set of tools for developing and using control systems.

The TANGO project is planned to serve the needs of the research and technological communities for at least the next 20 years and has ambitions to become a de facto standard for industrial and scientific distributed control systems. "It is significant that the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) international radio astronomy project, at a recent meeting in Italy, adopted TANGO as its preferred software environment," says Philip. "This means TANGO will be used for software development in the 11 SKA member countries and eventually will become operational at both of the SKA project sites, in South Africa and Western Australia."

The scale of the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope represents a huge leap forward in both engineering and research and development, and the project has recently taken an important step by selecting Jodrell Bank in the UK as the SKA's permanent international headquarters.

Observatory Sciences has always supported the development of TANGO. "It has grown from a modest start to become potentially one of the most exciting opportunities in control systems development," says Philip. "And because it is open source we are able to contribute to its development."

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