Distributed Device Database for Acclerator Control
This project will develop a control system for very large High Energy Physics projects. A de-facto standard in accelerator control is the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS), which has been applied successfully to many physics projects. EPICS is a channel-based system that requires that each channel of each device be configured and controlled. In Phase I, the feasibility of a device oriented extension to the distributed channel database was demonstrated by prototyping a device aware version of an EPICS input/output (I/O) controller that functions with the current version of the channel access communication protocol. Extensions have been made to the grammar to define the database. Only a multi-stage position controller with limit switches was developed in the demonstration, but the grammar should support a full range of functional record types. In phase II, a full set of record types will be developed to support all existing record types, a set of process control functions for closed loop control, and support for experimental beam line control. A tool to configure these records will be developed. A communication protocol will be developed or extensions will be made to Channel Access to support introspection of components of a device. Performance benchmarks will be made on both communication protocol and the database. After these records and performance tests are under way, a second extension of the grammar will be undertaken. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The proposed approach to configuring the I/O for a large physics project reduces the time to produce and maintain the massive amount of configuration data by providing the engineers and physicists with tools that configure the system at a high level. The creation, duplication, and management of devices, compresses the external view of the process by an order of magnitude. At the end of phase 2, the database engine, record types, configuration tool, and communication protocol will provide the fundamentals needed to make a beta release to potential users.
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