CAD AD ARDD ES&F Center RHIC AGS Booster Linac Tandem NSRL

What We Do

The Collider Accelerator Department (C-AD) Controls Group designs, develops and supports computing solutions for the effective and reliable control, monitoring, and analysis of the injectors and storage rings within the Collider-Accelerator Department.


C-AD Controls Systems Section

Controls Head: Kevin Brown kbrown@bnl.gov

Deputy: John Morris jtm@bnl.gov

The Controls Systems Section is composed of two major sets of groups; Software Systems and Hardware Systems.
The Controls Systems groups help design, develop and support computing solutions for the effective and reliable control, monitoring, and analysis of the injectors and storage rings within the Collider-Accelerator Department. The C-AD Control Systems consist of approximately 2 million control points; from ion sources through the LINAC, EBIS, and Tandem Van de Graff pre-accelerators through the transfer lines to the Booster, both the Booster and AGS synchrotrons and transfer lines, the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) facility, the Brookhaven LINAC Isotope Production facility, and the two Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) synchrotrons. The Controls Section also supports all C-AD R&D division systems, including the controls project planning and management for new C-AD facilities.


‣ The Controls Software Systems

Head: John Morris jtm@bnl.gov

The Controls Software Systems consist of three groups, the Front End Software Group, the Applications Group and the System Administration Group.
The three groups help develop, improve, and maintain the software for the C-AD accelerator control systems and R&D projects. The Software Groups also provide support to users of Control System software, particularly during accelerator operation. There are three groups within the Controls Software Systems. The Front End Software Group develops and maintains software for access to accelerator equipment. The Applications Group develops and maintains console level software, particularly graphical user interface applications. The System Administration Group is responsible for providing the computer platforms and operating systems used to support accelerator controls software.

There are more than 420 front-end equipment interface systems in the C-AD control system. Within the software systems for the front- end interfaces, there exist over 300 device interface classes. There are more than 200 Linux console and server machines in the C-AD complex. The server machines run more than 300 controls server processes during accelerator operations. At the console level there are more than 100 graphical user interface applications that have been developed and are used for accelerator operations. In our C, C++, and Java source code repository there are over 4 million lines of code.



• Front End Systems Group (FEC)

Group Leader: Chanaka De Silva desilva@bnl.gov

The Front End group develops and supports the software that provides the interface to accelerator equipment throughout the C-AD complex. The group provides administrative and software integration support across more than 420 front-end equipment interface systems running the VxWorks OS. Additionally, the Front End Software Systems Group administers and provides software integration support for a large number of embedded systems that utilize Ethernet, GPIB, and RS232/RS485 standard communication hardware interfaces for the same purpose. Embedded system controls are primarily hosted from process servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In both the VxWorks and Linux environments, equipment interface software is primarily developed using the Accelerator Device Object (ADO) framework. Source code repositories for the group include programs written in C/C++, LabView, and Java. Maintenance of the infrastructure code library that links the distributed device interfaces on the Controls System network is also provided, as well as research and development on hardware platform support and services needed to complete future projects.



• Applications Group (APP)

Group Leader: Seth Nemesure seth@bnl.gov

The Applications group is responsible for the development and maintenance of library, server, and user interface software used in support of the operation of the many facilities that make up the C-AD complex. The group maintains the development environment that includes the source code and build procedures for over 350 C++ applications, over 250 C++ servers, and over 150 Java applications and servers. Third party software is evaluated and integrated by the Applications Group. The group also has primary responsibility for the administration of database and web development services.



• System Administration Group (SYS)

Group Leader: Severino Binello sev@bnl.gov

The System Admin group provides the computer platforms and operating systems used to support Control System software. The group administers over 256 workstations and servers. There are 36 workstations in the Main Control Room, 75 remote Operations consoles, 28 developer and physicist workstations, 30 process servers, 9 Logging servers, 6 remote users servers, 6 database servers, 6 archive servers, 2 NAS file servers, 1 tape backup server, 18 System Administration systems (including NIS, DNS, DHCP, FTP, Kdump), and 6 Sun System servers. We currently have a 3 system Virtual Machine architecture which supports 5 production controls process servers. We are a RedHat Enterprise Linux shop. We archive and log over 35 TBytes of data every physics run. The operations file servers contain a total of 20 TBytes of raw disk space and the development file servers contain a total of 6 TBytes of raw disk space.




‣ The Controls Hardware Systems

Head: Michael Costanzo mcostanzo@bnl.gov

The Controls Hardware Systems consists of two groups, the Controls Hardware Group and the Access Controls Group.



• Controls Hardware Group

Group Leader: Michael Costanzo mcostanzo@bnl.gov

specifies, develops, tests, integrates, maintains, and upgrades a wide variety of hardware necessary for the operation of the accelerator complex and R&D facilities run by the Collider-Accelerator Department. We provide controls, timing, and data acquisition throughout the facility via unique interfaces to various accelerator components.

The Controls Hardware Group maintains more than 13,000 modules, chassis, fiber optic components, PLCs, and specialty items. Together they combine to provide the approximately 2 million control points over all the systems. The primary Controls hardware platform is the VMEbus chassis, with 315 of these online throughout the facility. Each chassis contains a powerful processor card, and on average contains an additional 10 to 20 custom and commercial VME modules, providing a wide variety of functions and utilities. Some of the types of VME modules include Function Generators, Analog I/O boards, Digital I/O boards, Scalars, Motion Controllers, and specialty Timing boards.

In addition to the VMEbus chassis and their many boards, some of the more notable systems include over a 1000 Power Supply Interface modules, a large fiber optic distribution system, unique distributed timing systems (including the Real Time Data Link, Beam Sync Link, and Event Links), the Beam Permit Link (used for machine protection), a PLC based power supply control system, the Ground Fault monitoring system, and a distributed Temperature Collection system.



• Access Controls Group

Group Leader: Jonathan Reich reich@bnl.gov

develops, improves, and maintains the access controls for all of the accelerators, transport lines, and stand alone experimental facility enclosures as defined by C-AD and approved by the C-AD Radiation Safety and Accelerator Safety Systems Review Committees. This includes all gate access controls, radiation interlock systems, and oxygen deficiency detection (ODH) and response systems used for the accelerator complex and R&D facilities.

The Access Controls Group consists of approximately 120 monitored access gates and about 40 ODH monitoring and response systems. The LINAC, Booster, and AGS use relay logic systems for the access controls with about 700 relays in those systems. The rest of the access controls utilize Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) on two separate controllers/control chains. There are about 60 PLC’s in these systems. The systems also consist of 6 Iris recognition and key management token systems, 80 card reader access systems, and 40-access point video camera and switching systems. Each year these systems are recertified, taking about 80 days per year to perform all the functional safety tests.



Papers, Posters & Slides




Contact Us


Controls Group
Collider Accelerator Department
Brookhaven National Laboratory
P.O.Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973
Phone: 01-631-344-4072
Fax: 01-631-344-5954