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Coordinated Access to Lightsources to Promote Standards and Optimization

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Networking light research facilities

An EU project has linked Europe's synchrotron and free-electron laser facilities into a single-access network. The project has created links with industry and given 1 400 projects transnational access.

Industrial Technologies

Synchrotrons and free-electron lasers are large analytical facilities used for materials research and industrial applications. The EU-funded project CALIPSO (Coordinated access to lightsources to promote standards and optimization) has included European synchrotrons and free-electron laser facilities in a single network that will foster research and promote industrial participation. Networking the entire system guarantees fair and convenient access. The 20-member consortium aimed to unite all relevant European facilities into an integrated and improved network, fostering industry involvement at the same time. In particular, the project developed a single web-based entry point for the network (wayforlight), providing technical information, tools and communication channels. CALIPSO included 13 synchrotrons and 8 free-electron lasers from 11 European countries into one of the world's largest research networks. Three facilities participated in the advanced design and the commissioning phase of the project: the SOLARIS synchrotron in Poland, the European X-FEL in Germany and the TARLA free electron laser in Turkey. The SESAME synchrotron in Jordan participated as an observer. The user base of European synchrotron and free-electron laser facilities is now estimated at over 30 000 users. Standardised beamline datasheets were agreed upon and filled for more than 300 European beamlines. The software called Umbrella was adopted by many participants, allowing single sign-on to those laboratories' websites. CALIPSO also implemented a standardised proposal format. During CALIPSO, the European Synchrotron and FEL User Organisation ESUO was strengthened and now includes representatives from 29 countries of the European area plus Israel and Turkey. ESUO’s aim is to structure the facilities user communities coordinating them at a pan-European level. Project members supported specialized courses and the annual session of HERCULES, a European programme for training researchers. The project also participated in free-electron laser and short-pulse light sources events that involved further training and planning for joint experiments. A CALIPSO work-package, ELSII, formed linkages and synergies with industry and setup a network of the facilities’ Industrial liaison offices. A joint Advisory Board was created between CALIPSO and the analogous I3 project for neutrons and muons (NM13), and two ELSII plenary workshops were held. Approximately half of the CALIPSO facilities offered transnational access, with support for more than 3 100 users representing 1 400 projects. Such work has already produced 420 peer-reviewed journal publications, and contributed to the project's beamlines datasheet.


Synchroton, free-electron laser, CALIPSO, wayforlight, beamline, users

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