ISIS accelerator scientists win national prize
17 Nov 2009



Bryan Jones and Sarah Whitehead of ISIS have been awarded the runner-up prize in a National Instruments competition, with their paper 'The ISIS Proton Synchrotron – Beam Data Acquisition and Analysis using PXI and LabVIEW'


Sarah Whitehead and Bryan Jones of ISIS demonstrate their monitoring systems in the target station main control room.


Sarah Whitehead and Bryan Jones from the ISIS neutron source received their award at the National Instruments UK conference ‘NI Days’ on 17th November in London.

The competition looked for the most innovative uses of virtual instrumentation and graphical system design in teaching, research or industry.

Working in the beam diagnostics and accelerator physics groups, Sarah and Bryan often work closely together to monitor and improve synchrotron performance. Their paper details monitoring systems they have created using National Instruments to assess beam loss, transverse beam profiles, and beam position which are all important diagnostics to understand beam behaviour. This information is critical for the successful operation of the facility.

“The systems we have installed have contributed towards a 20% increase in accelerator performance,” said Bryan.

Sarah is a regular attendee at NIDays conferences, which provide a day of in-depth technical sessions and hands-on training, and is aware of benefits this award can hold.

We decided to submit the system for consideration due its benefits of not only being valuable within ISIS itself and to promote ISIS as a leading science research centre, but because it could also help other accelerator physicists tremendously in their work on the synchrotron”, said Sarah.

Along with the prestige of their paper being selected as one of just two runners up in the competition, the authors have won a LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0, a robot that can be built and controlled using LabVIEW. “This is a fun and informative educational tool, used most often in ISIS to introduce new and visiting students to using the LabVIEW software”, said Bryan.


Bryan Jones and Sarah Whitehead being presented their award at the NIDays conference in London.
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Learn more about how the beam diagnostic system works