U.S. Particle Accelerator School

EPICS Control Systems course

Sponsoring University:

Indiana University


EPICS Control Systems


Robert Dalesio and Kay Uwe Kasemir, LANL; Andrew Johnson, ANL

Modern accelerator facilities have reached a degree of complexity which requires the support of computer controls to ensure predictable, stable and safe operation. In recent years, a control system toolkit named EPICS has been developed and has been or is being used in an increasing number of accelerator facilities. To provide a firm foundation for the use of this system, this course will give a broad introduction into the structure and philosophy behind the toolkit and is specially designed for accelerator operators, young scientists and those who are interested in entering the field of computer-aided controls.  

EPICS has been used to build control systems for many different kinds of "large physics" experiments throughout the world and is designed to facilitate the construction of highly distributed multi-computer systems with large numbers of I/O points. This course provides an introduction to the most commonly-used parts of the toolkit: The client tools that are used to build user-interfaces, archive and retrieve data; design of the real-time databases that perform most I/O and control actions; state notation sequence programming; creating drivers and record types for new kinds of I/O hardware; writing new client applications, and interfacing to other control systems by writing portable server applications. Laboratory sessions will use examples taken from various kinds of accelerator subsystems. Prerequisites: Experience in using Unix/Linux and some knowledge of C and/or C++ programming.