Distributed Device Database for Acclerator Control
For very large, high energy physics (HEP) projects, the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) is a de-facto standard in accelerator control, and it has been applied successfully to many physics projects. EPICS is a channel-based system in which each channel of each device must be configured and controlled. This system could be significantly enhanced by layering the configuration and control function above the channel interfaces. To accomplish this enhancement, this project will extend the grammar that defines the database and also extend the communication protocol that integrates the clients and servers in the distributed architecture. In Phase I, the feasibility of a device-oriented extension to the distributed channel database will be demonstrated by prototyping a device-aware version of an EPICS I/O controller. The EPICS I/O controller will function with the current version of the channel access communication protocol. In addition, extensions to the Channel Access protocol will be documented, in order to take full advantage of a device oriented database. In Phase II, a fully functional I/O Controller, which supports a representative range of devices as well as an expanded set of Channel Access functions to take advantage of the new capabilities, will be developed. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The inability to adapt new technology without replacing the entire embedded control infrastructure has limited the ability of many industrial plants to modernize in an incremental fashion. Thus, an enhanced EPICS should have application to various commercial markets: water distribution, electricity distribution, wind tunnel control, and waste water treatment to name a few.
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