Progress of the X06DA-PXIII beamline upgrade: First light in the optics hutch

On June 7, 2023, the PXIII project team successfully shone the first light into the optics hutch at the upgraded X06DA-PXIII beamline. This milestone was made possible thanks to the excellent teamwork effort and the precious help from many support groups at PSI. It is an essential first step for testing new hardware and software solutions that will be implemented at SLS2.0.

The Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) beamline X06DA-PXIII was selected as a "Phase 0 beamline" to be upgraded prior to the SLS 2.0 machine upgrade (Oct 2023 - May 2025). This was, on one hand, to better manage the upgrade of the three MX Beamlines PXI, PXII & PXIII, but also, and more importantly, to commission and test new hardware and software solutions that will be implemented widely across SLS 2.0 beamlines.
A non-exhaustive list includes a new Front-End, a new Machine Interlock Safety system (MIS), a new Equipment Protection System (EPS), a new Motion Control System (MCS), a new Beamline Experimental Control (BEC) system, a new Personal Safety System (PSYS-L) for hutch-access restriction against radiation, robotic and laser protection, and a new lead hutch design according to ESRF standards and current building regulations.

The MX team is proud to contribute to the development of all these new systems, which is an impressive collaboration of over 50 people from various expert groups participating in the SLS 2.0 upgrade. The team is now working hard to complete the beamline upgrade with the aim of running user experiments in September, before the SLS dark period.

Part of the team gathered in the experimental hutch to witness "first light" in the X06DA-PXIII optics hutch
First beam at the X06DA-PXIII beamline as seen on a fluorescent screen in the optics hutch