General Lab Information

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User Computer Accounts and Data

Researchers come from all around the world to the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) to study everything from batteries to tomato plants. These visiting researchers, or users, uncover the hidden secrets of their samples by using the bright synchrotron light of NSLS-II. To enable this research and deliver the measured data to the users, the Data Science & System Integration Program at NSLS-II works closely with the Brookhaven Lab Information Technology Department (ITD) to create necessary user accounts and easy access to data.

Your Brookhaven Lab Domain Account

We have streamlined the user access process to all NSLS-II computers and data by issuing computer accounts to all active users. In order to run beamline experiments and access data, you will need this computer account (also known as a BNL domain account). These accounts follow our single sign-on strategy and replace the “controls” accounts that some of you had been using.

You can find information about your BNL Domain Account in the Computer Account section of the NSLS-II User Guide.

Data Science and System Integration Program

The Data Science and System Integration Program enables researchers to study everything from batteries to tomato plants. The program innovates, integrates, and supports critical hardware for experimental stations as well as develops and stewards essential software for applications such as data acquisition and analysis. To truly excel in maintaining the advanced research capabilities of the facility, as well as developing innovative software solutions and data science algorithms, the program utilizes a project-oriented team structure.

Project Teams

To create a dynamic development environment, the Data Science and Systems Integration program has a holistic approach to all aspects of their work. Based on the needs of the facility and research communities NSLS-II serves, the program creates dedicated development projects with specialized teams.

Areas of Excellence Teams

To research, innovate, develop, and steward critical technologies, such as detectors in concert with software including areaDetector, Bluesky, Ophyd, CSStudio, and EPICS, the program established areas of excellence. These dedicated teams ensure the long-term availability and success of these technologies throughout the facility and beyond.

Assigned Support Teams

To ensure NSLS-II’s operational excellence, the program has assigned support teams that oversee and ensure smooth day-to-day operation of the accelerator and all instruments at the facility. These teams provide the front-line support and will work together with colleagues from across facility to ensure that operations are resumed as quickly as possible.


What is Bluesky and how do I get it?

All NSLS-II beamlines use the same standard software infrastructure to take, save, and analyze data. The combined system is called Bluesky. Bluesky is a python-based library for experiment control and collection of scientific data and metadata. It includes the following features:

  • Live, Streaming Data: Available for inline visualization and processing.
  • Rich Metadata: Captured and organized to facilitate reproducibility and searchability.
  • Experiment Generality: Seamlessly reuse a procedure on completely different hardware.
  • Interruption Recovery: Experiments are “rewindable,” recovering cleanly from interruptions.
  • Automated Suspend/Resume: Experiments can be run unattended, automatically suspending and resuming if needed.
  • Pluggable I/O: Export data (live) into any desired format or database.
  • Customizability: Integrate custom experimental procedures and commands, and get the I/O and interruption features for free.
  • Integration with Scientific Python: Interface naturally with NumPy and Python scientific stack.

Learn more about Bluesky’s capabilities on its official website. You will also find further instructions on how to access Bluesky and your data on the documentation website.

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What is EPICS?

NSLS-II uses EPICS to operate all of the major devices within the accelerator complex and beamline experiments. EPICS provides a software infrastructure for building distributed control systems that are typically comprised of tens, or even hundreds, of computers, networked together to allow communication, feedback, and control of the various parts. It allows the control of all these devices from a central control room or even remotely over the internet.

In 2018 NSLS-II offered a comprehensive EPICS works as part of an EPICS Training for local beamline staff and developers. All classes have been recorded and can be found on the NSLS-II EPICS Lecture Series website.

Learn more about EPICS on its official website.

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What is Control System Studio?

Control System Studio is an Eclipse-based collection of tools that is used at NSLS-II to monitor and operate the systems of both the accelerator and the experimental instruments. It is a product of the collaboration between different laboratories and universities, including NSLS-II.

Learn more about Control System Studio on its official website.

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