Control Systems Section

The Controls Systems Section is responsible for all software and hardware aspects related to the control of the PSI accelerators and experimental stations. We play an integrating role among the different expert groups involved at the facilities. In order to achieve the goal of highest availability and ease of maintainability the section applies standard technologies and keeps close collaboration with its stakeholders.

The section is divided into six groups:

Embedded Software

The Embedded Software Group develops and maintains the basic software packages for the control system of the GFA facilities (SwissFEL, SLS, HIPA, PROSCAN). They consist of:
  • The real time operating systems (vxWorks, RT Linux)
  • The control system package (EPICS) for various OS: Windows, Linux, vxWorks
  • The device drivers for the control system packages (EPICS)
  • The drivers for operating systems (vxWorks. Linux, Windows)
Contact: B. Kalantari


We provide electronic modules for the Controls section that are used at the accelerator facilities, either custom built or obtained from the market. The hardware comprises of VME crates, different VME modules, transition boards, digital I/O, and many others. Not only the actual hardware is available but also a broad expertise in designing, prototyping and firmware development for electronic components and custom solutions as needed.
Contact: G. Janser

IT Infrastructure

The responsibility of the group is to install, configure servers (physical and virtual) for software development, maintenance of file and storage servers, IOC boot services, archiving, channel access and ssh gateways, including the management of user and operation consoles. In collaboration with AIT the group designs private machine networks for GFA Large Facilities (HIPA, PROSCAN, SLS, SwissFEL, SITF, TRFCB). On the software development side responsibility include a variety of database services such as stock, request, order and delivery management; management of installed hardware including the EPICS configuration overview and Puppet software deployment, as well as live and active monitoring of critical services of EPICS channel access gateways, including the hardware and network hierarchy management.
Contact: R. Krempaska

Standard Applications

The Group is responsible for:
  • the maintenance and ongoing development of the Machine Control Systems (MCS) inside GFA's Main Facilities. These include:
    • HIPA
    • SLS
    • SwissFEL
  • the maintenance and ongoing development of the control system infrastructure inside certain GFA Special Installations. For example:
    • SINQ, UCN
    • WLHA, OBLA
    • HIPA Secondary Beamlines
    • Magnet Teststand
    • Liquid Helium Plant
  • the development of new standard application solutions which can be shared across GFA's multiple control system installations.
In the above, the term "application" goes beyond individual pieces of software. It is rather to be understood as integrating the software and hardware components into meaningful entities to operate our facilities with the highest possible efficiency and in order to help maximize their scientific productivity. Our interest lies especially in building control system concepts and an applications infrastructure that can be used across several facilities (HIPA, PROSCAN, SLS, SwissFEL, etc.). In our work we are committed to cooperate with and to build on the work of the other groups within the Controls Section. We also work together with other PSI groups from the GFA, LOG, CPT and other divisions and in collaboration with other scientific institutions and companies.
Contact: S. Rees

Experiment Integration

The Experiment Integration group provides system integration services to the SLS beamlines as well as to upcoming beamlines and end stations at SwissFEL. The group is therefore responsible for the integration of experiments being conducted by the scientists into our control system. The service comprises the installation, commissioning, integration, testing and maintenance of hardware and software components required to control devices such as motorized axes, instrumentation devices and various types of detectors in a coordinated manner. Furthermore we consult our customers (scientists) on control system issues in the initial phase of the design of their experiments.
Contact: Dr. T. Celcer

High Level Applications

The High Level Applications group develops, maintains and operates (end)user level control and data acquisition software for all PSI facilities and users. The software ranges from simple overview status displays aggregating information from numerous sources, up to highly optimized data acquisition systems. Furthermore we provide expertise and libraries for enabling people to easily interact with the control and data acquisition systems of the facilities.
Contact: S. Ebner