Sep 19 – 22, 2022
Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland
Europe/Zurich timezone

A common control and readout software for different X-ray detector systems

Sep 20, 2022, 5:30 PM
WHGA/Auditorium and online (Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland)

WHGA/Auditorium and online

Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland

Paul Scherrer Institute Forschungsstrasse 111 CH-5232-Villigen-PSI
Poster NOBUGS 2022


Dhanya Thattil (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut)


The slsDetectorPackage is a control and readout software for the high performance X-ray detectors developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute. It is an attempt to provide a common and flexible interface for a family of detectors ranging from small 1D detectors (1280 channels) to large pixel detectors (16M). The core is written in C++ with a custom command line interface and Python binding for scripting. The software is in use at several facilities worldwide that use the detectors developed at PSI. Since our software is open-source, drivers for EPICS, TANGO and Karabo have already been developed by collaborators.

Our main challenge is the diversity of detectors and computer environments that the software has to support: dimensions (both 1d and 2d), scalability (1 up to 36 modules), Ethernet interfaces (1g and 10g), dynamic range (4, 8, 16 and 32 bits per pixel), synchronized with master and slave architecture or independent modules, file formats (binary and hdf5), different packet sizes, and top it off with different detector specific features.

To a large extent, we encapsulate the detector specific behavior to a part of the software that runs on the detector readout board CPU, but not all aspects can be tackled in the same manner.

Furthermore, multiple ways exist to control the detector system via the C++ or Python API, the command line and the Qt based GUI. There are various ways to pick up the data via files, zmq streams or call back routines. The system is designed to run on a variety of data backend platforms and the data receiver part of the software could be replaced with a custom process. We are currently examining different avenues into easier online data analysis, despite the different detector types.

Such a multifaceted system for constantly evolving research applications comes with obvious challenges demanding constant improvements. We will present an overview of the current architecture, challenges and future improvements.

Email address of presenting author

Primary author

Dhanya Thattil (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut)


Aldo Mozzanica (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut) Anna Bergamaschi (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut) Bernd Schmitt (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut) Carlos Lopez Cuenca (SLS Detectors) Mr Christian Ruder Dr Davide Mezza Dominic Greiffenberg (Paul Scherrer Institut) Erik Fröjdh (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut) Dr Filippo Baruffaldi Jiaguo Zhang (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut) Dr Julian Heymes Konstantinos Moustakas (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut) Mar Carulla (Paul Scherrer Institut) Martin Brückner (Paul-Scherrer-Institut) Mr Pawel Kozlowski Ms Rebecca Barten Roberto Dinapoli (Paul Scherrer Institut) Mrs Shqipe Hasanaj Mr Simon Ebner Mr Sudip Shrestha Mr Thomas King Viktoria Hinger (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut)

Presentation materials