Instrument upgrades and developments
11 Nov 2009



Upgrades and developments...

One of the new Polaris detector banks, with a schematic of the complete instrument.

Polaris Upgrade

A major upgrade programme for the Polaris diffractometer is currently in progress. This project, funded by STFC with contributions from Spanish and Swedish partners, will provide increases in count rate of between 4x and 20x (depending on the scattering angle), coupled with significant improvements to the instrumental resolution at backscattering angles. Installation of the new instrument is planned for 2010. New sample environment equipment is also being developed, with funding from the Swedish research council, including in-situ cells for studies of electrochemical processes and time-resolved investigations of samples under controlled atmospheres.


Hifi is a new high-field muon spectrometer in commissioning at ISIS. This year has seen completion of all major project elements, including delivery of the main 5T magnet (seen here being installed). First experiments are scheduled for the end of 2009.
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Detectors, computing and electronics for instrument developments

New instrument developments provide a variety of challenges for the ISIS Detector, Computing and Electronics groups.

For example, the new TS-2 reflectometers have complex motion control environments and require many motors to be moved precisely and in harmony for optimal experimental conditions. Control software has had to be developed, using the National Instruments LabVIEW package.

katherine baker

Kathryn Baker (ISIS) working on experiment control software for Inter.
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The Wish instrument has been a different sort of challenge. Its 389,125 pixels were too numerous for a single data acquisition crate and so a system for parallel access to acquisition crates was developed. The data volumes and memory requirements involved were also reaching the limits for 32bit operating systems, so a 64bit version of the acquisition software has been developed.

wish instrument

The first operational detector panel for the Wish instrument after testing, with members of the ISIS detector group involved in its production: Nigel Rhodes, Davide Raspino, Eric Schooneveld and Matt North.
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freddie akeroyd

Freddie Akeroyd (ISIS) developing data acquisition software for ISIS instruments.
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