Child pages
  • areaDetector software driver development queue
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Current Queue

PriorityStatusDetectorBeam lineGroupRequestor 
1completeGE RT41 Detector 1-ID-E, 6-ID
XSD Materials Physics and Engineering Almer
1at beam lineX-Spectrum LAMBDA8-ID-IXSD Time Resolved Research Sandy
1~100%Adimec Q12A180/CX 12 Megapixel2-BMXSD ImagingDeCarlo
Quantar MCP (Multi Channel Plate)29-IDXSD Magnetic MaterialsMcChesney

final testing

PI PIXIS8-ID-IXSD Time Resolved Research Sandy
3final testing
Apogee Alta9-ID-CXSD Chemical and Materials Science Ilavsky
3completePixirad Multiframe7-IDXSD Time Resolved ResearchDufresne
5on holdPixirad HexMapDPXSD DetectorsMoore
5at 4-IDQuantum Detectors xspress320-ID, 4-ID, & DPXSD Spectroscopy & MicroscopyHeald
5Proposal Scint-X Detector1-ID-EXSD Materials Physics and Engineering Almer
5Proposal FLI MicroLine ML16803 Detector1-ID-EXSD Materials Physics and Engineering Almer
5at beam linesPhotron SAZ7-ID-B & 32-ID-CXSD Time Resolved Research Wang


The XSD staff working on writing areaDetector drivers meets biweekly.  The meetings are logged in JIRA (requires a login).

Links between adjacent meetings are provided in each meeting's minutes.
(Each issue page in JIRA is linked to the previous and subsequent meeting.  If you wish to locate notes from older meetings, follow the link chain in JIRA.)

2017-01-26: group objectives have been realized

On 2017-01-26, the remaining queue of detector drivers to be completed was one, the Quantar MCP (Multi Channel Plate) detector at 29-ID.  It was agreed that the fundamental objectives of this group have been realized (build a collaborative team, gain experience writing EPICS area detector drivers, share skills, complete the queue of detector drivers to be written for the APS XSD beam lines).  The group agreed to end the periodic biweekly meetings and only meet on-demand or occasionally with Mark Rivers.  This group can advise the remaining BCDA staff about area detector deployments.

Future work

The future work for this group and the rest of BCDA should concentrate on reducing the queue of detector IOCs requesting maintenance.  The detector maintenance queue is in an Excel spreadsheet in this Box folder and should be updated as needed: Beam line detector IOCs should be added to this list as they appear and assigned a priority.  Lowest priority IOCs should receive the most immediate attention.

The current upgrade goal is to bring all area detector IOCs to v2.4 or greater (to reduce the number of different versions at beam lines).  Any detector not at 2.4 must have priority of 4 or lower (numerically).  Detectors with priority 5 do not need any work at this time, as stated.  A priority level of 6 was added to note detectors as retired from further maintenance.

Detector Driver Project Details

Details of each detector driver project are provided here.  The list is presented in alphabetical order using the detector names above.

Adimec Q12A180/CX 12 Megapixel

beam line(s)2-BM Tomography
work tracking URL
driver author1Engbreston
driver author2Peterson
date added2016-07-20

current support is ok, better to refactor to use Linux

  • 2017-01-12: driver is ready (100%), needs hardware that can support this detector, working with IT on this
  • 2016-09-22: beam line can give us the camera next week
  • 2016-07-20: assigned to Mark Engbretson after discussing with staff

Apogee Alta

beam line(s)9-ID-C USAXS
work tracking URL
driver author1Lang
driver author2Peterson
date added2014-03-12

current support is ok, better to refactor to use Linux

  • 2016-09-22: ready for final testing, perhaps tomorrow
  • 2016-07-21: working on documentation while detector is not available for testing
  • 2016-07-14: computer prepared for testing at beam line
  • 2016-06-23: all requested features delivered, plan to test in July when detector is available
  • 2016-06-09: re-wrote to add thread for temperature control, working on kinetics mode (check with Jan to see if needed)

FLI MicroLine ML16803 Detector

beam line(s)1-ID-E
work tracking URL

driver author1 
driver author2 
date added2014-03-10

possible that beam line may not continue to use this detector due to poor performance

beam line advised they are no longer interested

GE RT41 Detector

beam line(s)1-ID-E
work tracking URL
driver author1K Lang
driver author2Hammonds
date added2014-03-10
  • 2016-10-06: This project is complete, as of today.
  • 2016-09-22: ready for final testing today, one of the computers need vendor reinstall of their SDK but should not delay today's test
  • 2016-07-21: need to setup new support computer for testing and use
  • 2016-07-14: 1-ID purchased a new control computer to use the new driver, needs custom setup
    !!! Declare victory at 6-ID: Doug seems to have no issues

Photron SAZ and SA1

beam line(s)7-ID-B & 32-ID-C
work tracking URL
driver author1Peterson
driver author2Hammonds
date added2014-03-06
development source

FYI: two models: SA1.1 is the simpler, SAZ is the more complex and more recent

  • 2016-09-22: stopping work on this driver now, beam lines show no interest in further development, vendor unresponsive to queries
  • 2016-07-14: 7-ID wanted to use it at beam line but it was not installed there for production use yet,
    s/w had been installed on an office computer for testing while b/l computer was in use
    user reverted to vendor s/w
    will make preparations so as to simplify this for the future
  • 2016-05-05: still no testing of IOCs by beamlines
  • 2016-04-28: vendor working on draft license
  • 2016-04-21: no comment from Photron regarding SDK license


beam line(s)8-ID-I
work tracking URL
driver author1Engbretson
driver author2Hammonds
date added2015-07-27
  • 2017-01-12: driver is complete, waiting on beam line to configure their scripts for the new support
  • 2016-09-22: waiting on IT to build support computer, will deploy and test, beam line needs rewrite data acquisition scripts for this but otherwise, this project is complete
  • 2016-07-21: no progress on this, user has been working with the Lambda detector
  • 2016-07-14: access to Pixis was only about 6 hours this wee, acceptance testing was going good, 1 items remains on acceptance list
  • 2016-06-16: Every intended feature works,  close to final delivery since all feature requests are delivered

Pixirad HexMap

beam line(s)Detector Pool
work tracking URL 
driver author1Moore
driver author2Hammonds
date added2015-07-16

The work here is to visualize the hexagonal gridded data with standard tools such as ImageJ

  • 2017-01-24: no demand for this, can drop this from the list
  • 2016-03-18: discussed development plans with Matt Moore
  • 2015-11-19: no progress, developer has left ANL employment
  • 2015-11-12: continue with ADURL driver (seems to only read 8-bit images)

Pixirad Multiframe

beam line(s)7-ID
work tracking URL
driver author1tba
driver author2 
date added2016-04-19

The work here is to add support for the multiframe firmware special to this detector.  This should be an additional feature of the existing driver.

  • 2017-03-15: marked project status as complete
  • 2017-01-27: Detector driver complete and deployed, turned over to beam line. Minor low hanging fruit cosmetic things to clean up.
  • 2017-01-12: start effort, investigate if support easy to implement. It may take longer to setup the sources than to make the actual source changes.
  • 2016-04-19: talked with Eric Dufresne and added to the queue

Quantar MCP - Multi Channel Plate

beam line(s)29-ID
work tracking URL
driver author1Sullivan
driver author2Lang
date added2015-07-30
  • 2017-01-12: waiting for detector to be available, detector will be highest priority this run (using AND finishing the driver - ~70% complete now)
  • 2016-11-03: detector not in use this run, turned off
  • 2016-09-22: The Windows IOC in this case, built statically, runs from the DSERV, without need to install development tools on detector computer
  • 2016-07-21: constructing EPICS build with MS VS2015 64-bit tool chain on beam line computer
  • 2016-07-14: detector is now in isolated vacuum chamber,
    still exercising vendor demo code, development cycle is painful (develop & compile code offline, transfer to beam line Windows computer through remote desktop and execute)
  • 2016-06-16: detector not working in beam line vacuum chamber

Quantum Detectors xspress3

beam line(s)20-ID & 4-ID (& DP)
work tracking URL 
development source
driver author1Diamond Light Source
driver author2Moore and Matt Newville
date added2015-08-04
  • 2017-01-24: there is a driver for this from Matt Newville at 4ID, 20ID has not tested this but we should hold off further work until advised
  • 2016-03-18: discussed with Matt Moore possibility of finishing this driver
    • detectors at both sectors share common issues
    • code needs to be cleaned up to be finalized
  • 2016-02-11: renewed interest from 20-ID this week
  • 2015-12-03: see Jira comments for criteria to remove from this queue
  • 2015-11-19: confirm with beam line, check for punchlist items

Scint-X Detector

beam line(s)1-ID-E
work tracking URL 
driver author1tba
driver author2 
date added2014-03-10
note(s)superseded by Pixirad

X-Spectrum LAMBDA

beam line(s)8-ID-I
work tracking URL
driver author1Hammonds
driver author2Sullivan
date added2015-03-01
  • 2017-01-27: detector in transit with DHL back to APS, delivery expected 2017-01-30
  • 2016-09-22: detector shipped back to vendor due to more problems, driver is essentially complete, further work looks like maintenance
  • 2016-07-14:
  • 2016-06-23:
  • 2016-06-09:
  • 2016-05-19:
  • 2016-05-12: Driver code review held - Review Report
  • 2016-05-05: vendor will send us (~June) a temporary with sensor that is below our specs, will swap later this year
  • 2016-04-21: vendor reported problems: detector head, compact flash card - vendor will replace, conference call with Suresh next week
  • 2016-04-14: prep for code review May 2, code accepted into EPICS areaDetector on GitHub


Driver projects are assigned a priority based on discussions with XSD management and the beam line scientist.

1immediate action
2high priority
3intermediate priority
4low priority
5no work to be scheduled at this time until requested by beam line

General estimate of effort to write an EPICS AD2 driver

The best general estimate of the effort to write an EPICS areaDetector revision 2 driver is 3 FTE months, based on the following assumptions:

assuming skilled EPICS programmer not experienced with AD2 drivers

  • experienced AD developer reduces the estimate by about 2 weeks

requires moderate C++ skills

requires physical access to detector in almost every conceivable case to test interface and develop the driver.

  • testing with the hardware is about 2 months of the time estimate
  • access to hardware is the biggest unknown and can create significant delay

detector interface poses no particular problems (API, documentation, hardware, …)

We will make better estimates of effort as we gain better experience.

In general, we should expect that an instrument team will need help integrating the driver into their operations, beyond the mere function of writing the driver, before they are willing to use the new driver in routine measurements.  This help includes learning to use the new driver support, as well as integrating that support with data acquisition and subsequent data processing steps.


Completion criteria for AD driver development:

detector and AD driver delivered

detector and AD driver are tested by beam line

first punch list is resolved -or- testing period goes stale

pull request to EPICS AD (or private if NDA requires) GitHub repository

Archived Links

SSG_000008 areaDetector Software Development Coordination Home

  • No labels