Machine:High Level Applications and Virtual Accelerator

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The high level applications for the Sirius control system comprise software for monitoring and controlling parameters; parameter data archiving, visualisation and analysis; and the operations and maintenance management systems.

Development and testing

The development of high level applications, operator interfaces and associated software needs to take into consideration the different stakeholders involved in the project, which include:

  • Accelerator Physicists
  • Beamline users
  • External community members
  • Machine operators
  • Managers
  • Software developers
  • Technical groups

Moreover, the different phases of the project will reflect on different requirements for software. The phases could be divided in the following way:

  • Equipment and control system testing
  • Assembly
  • Commissioning
  • Operation
    • User shifts
    • Maintenance
    • Machine study

Existing HLA solutions must be used as much as possible, at least in the initial stages of development. This could allow for parallel developments of software components. For example, MML is planned be used for testing the virtual accelerator as it is being developed.

The standard procedures used by the operators at UVX are an interesting source of knowledge for eliciting and evaluating requirements. These should be considered taking into account the differences between UVX and Sirius, but can provide ideas for scenarios to help design applications and their integration with the other control system applications.


The list of software to be developed is kept in an an excel with restricted access (HLA planning.xlsx) The list of UVX high level applications may assist in the definition and development of high level software for Sirius.


Discussions are necessary to define the system layers to which certain functions, such as magnet current to field conversion, will be assigned. A service-oriented architecture could be used (see Service Oriented Architecture for High Level Applications (NSLS-II) and NSLS-II High Level Application Infrastructure and Client Design).

Environment and tools

The environment for developing and testing high level applications will be base on the Ubuntu 16.04 linux distribution with python3.6 and EPICS >R3.14. GUI will be developed preferably with PyDM but CS-Studio will also be used for simpler interfaces and for control interfaces already available.

Setting up the development and testing environment

This wiki page describes the installation process of all libraries necessary for the HLA development.


We have created a LNLS distribution of CS-Studio that should be used to develop HLA for Sirius.

Soft IOCs and CASs

Templates are available for creating IOCs (EPICS-provided) and CASs (in hla). Usage instructions are available in the FAC:Cookbook:

EPICS Extensions


When running IOCs in a different subnet from the clients, use the EPICS Gateway. Set the Channel Access environment variables in the clients to look for PVs using it.


Each LNLS group may have its own organization on Github with various group's repositories. The Accelerator Physics group, for example, manages its repositories in the lnls-fac organization. Repositories which are relevant for Sirius developments by many groups should be located in the lnls-sirius organization.


The Semantic Versioning (version 2.0.0) system is the basic scheme used to define version numbers. For Python packages, PEP 440 provides a useful set of rules that are understood by installation automation tools. From this PEP, we add to the Semantic Versioning scheme the rule for developmental releases, by appending the suffix .devN to the version number in versions between final releases. The following example illustrates the use of the proposed versioning scheme; versions are chronologically ordered with more recent versions on the bottom.

Table 1: Versioning scheme example.
Version Description
0.1.0 Initial release
0.1.1 Bug fixes, no new functionality
0.2.0.dev0 Initial developmental release with new functionality
0.2.0.dev1 Second developmental release with new functionality
0.2.0 Final release with new functionality (in comparison with 0.1.1)
1.0.0 Public API defined
1.0.1 Bug fixes, no new functionality
1.1.0 New functionality, no bug fixes
1.2.0 New functionality, with bug fixes
2.0.0 Incompatible public API changes

When a version is ready to be shipped, create a Release in the corresponding GitHub repository. A procedure for this is available in the FAC:Cookbook (see Create a repository release.)


The following guidelines apply to high level application development (detailed requirements may be written for specific projects); the software should be

  • Concisely implemented: it should reuse existing data structures and code in order to avoid replications that introduce code/data maintenance overheads
  • Easy to install and configure (write instructions and dependency lists when necessary)
  • Well documented (non-obvious functionality and design decisions)
  • Based on well tested and supported packages and libraries
  • Testable
  • Safe

Tool integration must also be addressed; applications must provide ways of importing and exporting data to be analysed, preferably in a seamless way.

Visual Style Guide

The visual style guide for Sirius defines guidelines for building graphical user interfaces. (see Machine:High Level Applications Visual Style Guide)

Deployment and support

Automated schemes for software installation are preferred. When adding external dependencies (those which are not listed above), versions available on standard Linux package repositories should be given preference.


Final releases are made available in the GitHub repositories, as .tar.gz files. The distributions should include a README file describing the software, and an INSTALL file describing requirements and installation procedure; the user is responsible for ensuring the appropriate versions of requirements are available.

The lnls-fac package dependencies are shown in the figure below, where an arrow pointing from A to B means A uses (depends on) B.

Package dependencies.svg

Table 2: Package dependencies; columns contain dependencies for the package and version in row.
Package Version lnls mathphys pyaccel sirius trackcpp va
lnls 0.8.0 0.7
mathphys 0.7.0
pyaccel 0.12.0 0.7 3.3
sirius 0.11.1 0.8 0.7 0.12
trackcpp 3.3.0
va 0.15.0 0.7 0.12 0.11


Makefiles must be provided, with targets all and install for compiling and installing C/C++ applications, respectively. On Linux, the install target must install files on /usr/local/<bin|include|lib>. Additionally, a develop target may be provided; this should install symbolic links to the files in the development directory, so that any changes made are immediately available for development and testing purposes.


Packages must include a file, using setuptools. Dependencies must not be defined in this file for automatic download and installation, but be listed in the INSTALL file instead.


Installation of Matlab on a few computers are planned using, maybe, network licenses. MML will be used primarily for machine studies.


We need to discuss how to store and retrieve data such as excitation curves. A DBMS may also be necessary for archiving and other applications (the EPICS Archiver Appliance, for example, uses MySQL).

Machine Applications

Machine applications are soft IOCs running on the control system whose purpose is to process low level PVs, providing derived high level PVs for client applications. There will be a number of such machines applications: sirius-vaca, si-ap-currlt, si-tune, si-sofb, si-fam-ma, and so on.

Virtual accelerator

A virtual accelerator (VA) with an EPICS interface is being developed for testing high level applications and will be integrated with the Sirius control system. Code is in the va repository. (see FAC:Virtual accelerator)

Optics Correction

Introduction to the soft IOC of optics correction.

Current Information

Injection Position and Angle Correction

Slow Orbit Feedback System

Hight Level Timing

Hight Level Magnet Power Supply

HLA - High Level Applications

FAC HLAs are part of the Control System for the Sirius. They are available in the github repository and have the following dependencies:


In order to make the process of using these applications we built a docker to launch these windows. The docker image can be pulled from our dockerhub but first you have to install docker.

The instruction are available on this web site:

After installing docker you have to clone the following repository: In this repository there is a script called This script can be used to launch the HLA windows. When you issue it for the first time docker will pull the required image (lnlsfac/docker-hla). The name of the application must be passed as an argument to the script. The available applications are:


Note that some environment variables must be set correctly depending on the IOC that is serving the HLA application, more specifically:


Optics Correction

Current Information

Injection Position and Angle Correction

Slow Orbit Feedback System

Hight Level Timing

Hight Level Magnet Power Supply

Hight Level RF

Low Level Control Windows