Using Synoptic for monitoring » History » Version 17

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Flor de maria Blaszczyk, 03/13/2015 02:44 PM

1) How to start the Synoptic slow-control monitoring

If the Synoptic viewer is not opened already or if it has crashed, please follow the steps 1 to 6 in the section "From the FTBF MCenter Control Room computers (ftbflx10 and ftbflx11)” in Starting the Synoptic OM

All plots are interactive: you can scroll in / out (hold Ctrl key while you scroll) with your mouse or select a "box"

2) The displays main menu

This is the main menu, all displays/controls a shifter or expert needs can be accessed through this menu. Click on the menu to open the display / control panel you would like to look at. See the "For shifters" section for a full description of each display.

Note: All the displays have a button that allows you to go back to the main menu, generally at the bottom right corner of the display.

3) For shifters

Unless you need to change the settings on one of the power supplies / tertiary beam magnet, these are the displays you will need to look at.

Beam related information

MCenter Supercycle

On this display you can see at which stage of the beam cycle you are. The plots evolve continuously, wait for the spill (circled) to appear before stopping / starting a run (on the screenshot above you can see 2 spills). The full cycle is 1mn.

MCenter info

You can access the tertiary beam magnets and chiller controls from this display.

Beam related information
  • MC6CV indicates the opening of the vertical collimator (see ). When the beam profiles do not look “good” (off-centered or too wide), MCR can change this value to improve the beam profile.
  • MC7AN is the current of the magnets . Remember to report this number when starting a run.
  • MCENRG states the energy of the secondary beam at the LArIAT target.
  • MC7AT1 states the temperature of the coil of magnet 1. Alarm above 175º F.
  • MC7AT2 states the temperature of the coil of magnet 2. Alarm above 175º F.
Scintillator counters
  • MC7SC1 states the number of counts for the scintillator counter before the LArIAT target. Intensity of the secondary beam. 1E5 or more is pretty good.
  • MC7SC2 and MC7SC3 state the number of counts for the scintillator counters after the last magnet and after the Wire Chamber 4, respectively.
  • MC7SC5 states the number of counts for the coincidence of SC1, 2, 3.
  • MC7SC6 used to be the "trigger": coincidence between wire chambers, TOF, halo and/or other beam elements.

Beam profiles

Not available through Synoptic
To get these for now you have to use ACNET. See How to display the wire chambers positioned before the LArIAT target .

Beam-line detectors: Upstream and Downstream TOF, Halo and Punch-through, Aerogel Cerenkov

Because most of the PMTs for these systems are powered by the Zener voltage divider (aka COW) in the control room, controls and current monitoring are only available for the halo PMTs. These displays are similar, above is the one for the Aerogel Cerenkov.


High-voltage summary

This display shows the cathode, bias, cryo-PMTs, and SiPMs voltages for the last 24h. You might need to scroll down since all the plots don't fit in the screen.

Cryogenic system

The cryogenic system control is fully automated, these plots are for the shifter general interest.

Shows an overall view of the current readings on different parts of the cryogenic system. For historical plots, see the individual displays.

Note: Not all of the devices of the cryogenic system are shown, only a selection relevant for the LArIAT shifter.

Cryostat info
The plots in this display show the temperatures inside the cryostat, the pressures in different parts of the cryostat (the vacuum jacket and between the helico-flex seals in particular), and the liquid Argon level inside the inner cryostat for the last 24h.

LAr and N duwars
These plots show the evolution over the last 24h of the pressure and level of the outer LAr and N duwars.

Filter and gas analyser
For the gas analyser, you have to check the current configuration of the gas sampler. Please check the e-log for more information (?) .

4) For experts: Synoptic power supplies controls

Before you do anything... some useful information:

  • Settings are disabled by default. This means you can zoom in / out on the plots or click on the links but cannot change any setting.
  • Closing a window restarts the plots, but the settings are NOT changed. This means that if you close a window (on purpose or by mistake) or if the display crashes (it can happen from time to time) the power supplies in whichever state it was before the closure. If it was on, it remains on at whatever voltage it was set.
  • To power off a supply, please set the voltage to 0 first and then turn it off. Do not forget to turn it off!

1) To enable settings, click on the button on the bottom right hand corner and select for how long you wish to enable the settings (Disable, 10mn, 1h or 8h). Do not forget to disable the settings once you are done!

There are pop-up confirmation windows that will prevent you from changing anything by mistake but it is still better to disable the settings once you have finished.

2) To turn on / off an power supply, click on the on / off button. A window will pop-up for confirmation. When the supply is on, the light should be green.

3) Turn on the regulate function when available (the light will turn green). This is to have an output voltage that matches the set voltage, otherwise there is a small offset.

In some cases this feature has been disabled because it was causing more trouble than help. You might have to play with the value you enter to get on the readout the value you want if you see a disagreement.

4) Click on the button in the green frame "Set voltage" (in volts) next to the power supply you would like to set a voltage to. A window will pop up, enter the value including the "-" sign and validate. If you enter a positive value and the supply is negative only, nothing will happen. You will have to re-enter a value.

5) The selected supply readout voltage should indicate the new output voltage. Please wait until the reading stabilizes before changing to another value. This might take a few seconds.

6) Some controls (Glassman PS and Cryo-PMTs) might include additional features such as slow ramp options.

Current can be readout in the bottom left hand side of the display. The top plot shows the voltage as a function of time, the bottom plot is the current as a function of time. To access the history plots, click on the "Last 24h" button.

5) For experts: Controlling the power supplies with ACNET

Please use this method ONLY if the Synoptic displays are not working even after restarting the Synoptic Viewer (and contact F. Blaszczyk to report the issue). Once ACNET settings permissions are enabled, it is very easy to make mistakes: there is no confirmation window so you could cause a power supply to turn off or trip if you are not familiar with ACNET.

Using ACNET to power up the power supplies


If Synoptic crashes or hangs up, do not panic! Only the application is affected, not the devices themselves. You only need to close the application and restart it. The non-historical plots will be reset.

Make sure you have the Sun / Oracle Java Runtime Environment installed and up-to-date. OpenJRE does not seem to work well with Synoptic (unless you're lucky).

Because of some recent changes on the Java platform, you might have to do some tweaks to the Java security parameters. If you get an error that says that the application cannot be launched because it is from an unknown source / signature, please do the following:

1) Open the Java control panel. How to access it varies according to the OS (Google is your friend). You might have to launch it with admin privileges.

2) Select the security tab.

3) Drop the security to medium level.
*Note: This might not be possible in recent java versions. If you only have the high and very high options, choose high.

4) Add the following links to the exceptions list:

5) Validate. You might have to restart the computer for these changes to take effect.

Note: Make sure you type "http" and not "https". The latter will not work.


LArIAT contact: Flor de Maria Blaszczyk (Boston University),
Office phone #: 617-358-0989
Cell-phone # (also on the Control Room white board): 225-280-0536

Need a new display? Don't understand something? Please let me know! All suggestions and comments are welcome.

Synoptic support: