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Friday, 10 October 2008 12:15

Australian Synchrotron, Part 3 - Software selection and application development (iTWire podcast)

Richard Farnsworth, head of IT and controls at the Australian Synchrotron, in a series of podcasts for iTWire, continues his fascinating insights into the control engineering and information technology used to operate this world-class particle accelerator. This episode covers application software development.

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.Richard Farnsworth, head of IT and controls at the Synchrotron. 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

HTML clipboard The Australian Synchrotron application software podcast episode is available here (MP3 format, file size 1.5 MB, duration 04:36 - NOTE: download link corrected Saturday 23/5/2009).

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.

To finish off with, you may like to subscribe to Lightspeed  which is the monthly newsletter of the Australian Synchrotron. Newsletter issues (and other publications) are available here.

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).

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Tony Austin

Worked at IBM from 1970, for a quarter century, then founded Asia/Pacific Computer Services to provide IT consulting and software development services (closed company at end of 2013). These says am still involved with IT as an observer and commentator, as well as attempting to understand cosmology, quantum mechanics and whatever else will keep my mind active and fend off deterioration of my grey matter.

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