Richard Farnsworth (pictured), head of IT and controls at the Australian Synchrotron, showed me over this facility, which is about the size of a covered sportsground. The Australian Synchrotron is sited at Clayton near Monash University, some 20 Km southeast of central Melbourne.
For the first two iTWire podcasts, we started at the synchrotron's control room, then moved on to the server room. Finally we went on a tour of the two rings to see just what all these computers were there to do, namely monitoring and controlling the main beam and the experimental beamlines.
As we toured the rings — at times passing through rather noisy areas, which is obvious in some sections of the recording — Richard discussed many aspects of application design and development needed to support management and control of the synchrotron.
This includes operating systems used, languages and development tools, the application development process, staffing skills essential in the specialized synchrotron environment, and so on.
Listen to the podcast to find out the key software development strategy that was adopted to help make the synchrotron's IT and controls
The final exciting episode about the Aussie Synchrotron should follow next week, so keep an eye out for it!
Also, here's another reminder that the Australian Synchrotron Open Day 2008 is coming up on Sunday 26 October, 10 AM to 4 PM. But note that entry to the open day is free but bookings are essential. Go and see its potential. Don't miss out.
This month's newsletter issue, just published this afternoon, has an interesting piece on how the Aussie Synchrotron differs from the LHC (Large Hadron Collider).