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BNMR Experiments at TRIUMF


These pages describe the Data Acquisition System for the BNMR and BNQR experiments at TRIUMF


There are two experiments defined for BetaNMR :

  • BNMR running ON the BNMR high-voltage platform
  • BNQR running on the BNQR high-voltage platform

Each has their own VME Crate containing a VMIC cpu and modules (see Hardware), and each runs as a separate MIDAS experiment. The DAQ software is mostly common to both experiments, differences being handled by "ifdefs".

There are two Beamline modes that BNMR and BNQR experiments can be run in:

  • single channel mode where the beam is sent to one channel only, either BNMR or BNQR
  • dual channel mode, where the beam is switched between the two channels BNMR and BNQR.

where the main EPICS system is used to control the beam.

For both BNMR and BNQR experiments, two types of environment are defined (cf MUSR experiments):

  • Integral (Type 1)
  • Time Differential or TD (Type 2)
  • Combination of the above two types

A number of different Experimental modes are defined for each of Type 1 (Integral) and Type 2 (TD). These allow different experimental modes to be run (e.g. Frequency scan, Na Cell scan).

Hardware Components

DAQ hardware components for each system (BNMR/BNQR) include the following VME modules:

Table 2: Hardware Modules for each Experiment
Module Description Manual VME Base Address BNMR BNQR
SIS3801 version E multichannel scaler A SIS3801 0x2800 yes yes
SIS3801 version E multichannel scaler B 0x1800 yes no
PPG (Pulseblaster) Pulse Programmable module PPG
Spincore Pulseblaster
0x8000 yes yes
PSM Pol Synthesizer module (RF) PSM / PSMII
AD9857 Quadrature
Digital Upconverter
0xC00000 no yes
PSMII Pol Synthesizer module II (RF) 0xC00000 yes no
MVME162 68040 board, cpu runs CAMP (VxWorks) yes yes
VMIC cpu runs frontend (Linux) yes yes

CAMP host: MVME162 68040 board, front end computer for CAMP .

Software Components

The DAQ system is based on the MIDAS package. The experiment is controlled using the MIDAS webserver (mhttpd). Due to the large number of experimental parameters required, Midas custom pages have been written for BNMR/BNQR experimenters to control and monitor their experiment. A custom logger (mdarc/midbnmr) saves the data into MUSR MUD format files, and the MUSR CAMP slow control system is used for slow controls. Analysis is done by physica.

The main software components of the BNMR/BNQR experiment are

Table 2: Software Components
Component Purpose
frontend (runs on VMIC) set up, operate and read hardware modules
rf_config check PPG parameters, download program to PPG
mdarc custom data logger saves data in MUD format
midbnmr converts MIDAS format saved data files to save in MUD format
mheader sends out CAMP and EPICS slow-control data to be saved in the MUD data file
fe_epics sends experimental data to EPICS (can be read by control-room)
perlscripts various perlscripts control changing experimental mode, checking and maintaining run numbering, etc.
autorun automatic run controller
lcrplot plots experimental data
physica analyse data, reads MUD format files

The DAQ software components are started by the script start-all and stopped by the script kill-all.

DAQ Summary

The VMIC front end computer runs the frontend code which
  • controls PSM,PPG, VMEIO
  • acquires data from SIS MCS module(s), builds histograms
  • acquires data from CAMP, EPICS
  • sends the data out into the data buffer
The host computer (isdaq01)
  • run all other software components
  • starts/stops runs
  • acquires the data from the data buffer
  • logs the data
  • monitors the experiment