A month of MOUSE with Moeez

During the last four weeks, we’ve had a guest visiting the lab from the University of Washington. Abdul Moeez, a Ph.D. student in Prof. Lilo Pozzo’s group has been exposed to the operations in and around our (self-proclaimed) world-famous X-ray scattering lab instrument, the MOUSE. Here’s what has been going on during that time…

The past four weeks were intended to be a time of hardware changes on the MOUSE; following the plan I talked about before. Of course, the first casualty in contact with reality is the battle plan, and this was no exception.

Figure 0: Moeez (right) and me at the MOUSE in its latest iteration

Weaving elegantly between some multi-day in-situ trial experiments on battery cells, Moeez has meddled in the following projects:

  1. Finished wiring up the Arduino Pro Machine Control into a neat 19″ 3U-high box
  2. Moved the X-ray source chiller and the X-ray source control boxes to the left of the MOUSE, so that the cabling is better separated underneath. This does leave a DAB (Dumb-ass box) stuck in an inconvenient position which needs resolution sooner rather than later. Some additional smaller hardware changes were also done, including installing as many monitors as the MOUSE will carry!
  3. Replaced the EPICS control computer with a more modern version, now with the Blessings of our IT department.
  4. Run McSAS3 by himself, playing around with the Data Analysis Round Robin datasets
  5. Programmed his first (caproto) EPICS IOC for reading out the Inficon pressure gauge and exposing its readout to the EPICS network. Ostensibly simple, this required some careful binary message construction complete with 16-bit checksums..
  6. Helped with the programming of a universal translation framework for the translation of SAXS instrument files to DAWN-compatible NeXus files (more about that soon). This means he can now use DAWN with the data from the University of Washington Xeuss instrument if he so desires.
  7. Learning about infrastructure, through visits to EPICS+BlueSky at BESSY II and EPICS at our internal tomography group. Additionally, a visit by Dylan McReynolds and Wiebke Köpp from ANL and an unofficial visit by Andy provided a large amount of additional large facility insights..
  8. Grabbed a whole bunch of example data and code that will hopefully help him in his own laboratory.

With these experiences, I hope he will be able to organize their own laboratory more effectively, hopefully turning it into a whole new holistic X-ray Scattering laboratory facility!