The ID13 beamline offers high-brilliance micrometre and sub-micrometre X-ray beams coupled with fast-readout and highly-sensitive area detectors. This combination makes the beamline ideal for scanning experiments at high spatial resolutions, or for investigating transient phenomena within constrained sample environments. However, these types of experiments inherently generate large data sets which can contain several thousand individual diffraction patterns. For example, at the time of writing it is quite feasible to collect 30000+ diffraction patterns in one experimental shift (8 hours) using the FReLoN camera. This complicates both the collection and analysis of such data sets considerably. Furthermore, with the technological and experimental drive towards faster detectors and more brilliant beams, the problems associated with large data sets will only become compounded.

As a consequence of these issues, there are several on-going software-development projects linked to the ID13 beamline. These have evolved to solve many of the problems associated with large-scale data collection and analysis. The projects are divided between on-line and off-line solutions, encompassing sample visualisation, data reduction and analysis. A brief summary of each of these areas is given below, together with links for further information:


In situ sample visualisation

In situ sample visualisation reduces unnecessary data collection and analysis through accurate sample positioning with respect to the calibrated beam position.

The in situ sample visualisation project on the ID13 beamline is primarily concerned with developing software for observing samples and allowing their accurate placement relative to the X-ray beam position. This saves time for sample alignment and allows customised scan regions to be defined which minimises the collection of unwanted data. These features ensure the most efficient use of the experimental time avaialble and allow scan dimensions to be calculated automatically for specific spatial or time constraints.



On-line data analysis

On-line data analysis allows experimental data to be reviewed immediately, enabling the experimental strategy to be adjusted in response.

The on-line data analysis project on the ID13 beamline is primarily concerned with developing basic analysis tools to allow experimental data to be assessed immediately after its collection. In particular, the rapid visualisation of raster-scan series allows results to be reviewed on-the-fly. This provides a chance of optimising data collection by identifying interesting features for further investigation and adapting the measurement parameters.



Off-line data reduction, analysis and visualisation

The steps of data reduction, analysis and visualisation can be carried out off-line to rapidly generate publication-quality results from large area detector data sets.

Off-line data treatment software provides a method of efficiently processing large data file series, generating publication-quality results. The first step, data reduction, involves the minimisation of area detector experimental data into scattering profiles of specific regions of interest. This could be an azimuthal profile of a specific reflection, or a radial profile of a SAXS feature. The second step, data analysis, involves the automated analysis of scattering profiles by batch-wise non-linear function fitting and other analysis procedures. This includes the rapid calculation of peak positions, widths, orientation functions and integrated intensities. The final step, result visualisation, involves the rapid visualisation of extended experimental result series. This includes scattering profile comparisons, statistical analyses, and the generation of area and vector plots for raster-scan file series. Used together, these individual elements combine to form a complete data treatment solution.