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Software and computing

Currently, the LAMBDA control software consists of a Tango server, running on a dedicated server PC. The Tango control system is widely used at synchrotrons, and makes it possible to flexibly control the LAMBDA detector as part of an experiment, using higher-level control systems such as SPEC, Online and Sardana. The control software can also be used in a more standalone fashion, using a GUI, and Tango also supports scripting based on Python. An external LEMO input on the detector (5V TTL) allows precise triggering of acquisitions. During operation, the LAMBDA system is controlled by a server PC, which processes and stores images received by the detector. The server PC is equipped with 10 Gigabit Ethernet links for high-speed readout of the detector, and 256 GB of RAM for buffering images during processing and saving. Images are saved using the HDF5 format, which saves an entire image series to a single file along with image metadata. This approach makes it possible to perform high-speed imaging without creating excessive numbers of files. The image file can be compressed to reduce the file size, and the compression scheme in HDF5 makes it possible to access metadata and particular images within the file without needing to decompress the entire file. Data within HDF5 files can be accessed by standard functions in C, Python, MATLAB, IDL and other languages.


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