Configuration, Settings & Automation (CSA)

CSA wiki (CERN only)

The BE-CSS Configuration, Settings & Automation (CSA) section is responsible for providing systems and services, to manage the data describing both physical and logical configurations, of the CERN accelerator complex, experimental areas and various supporting technical infrastructure. CSA is responsible for the systems used to manage the runtime and historical operational settings of the particle accelerators, the automation of important operational procedures, and the entire system used for the control of the experimental areas beam lines.  Since the control system is almost entirely data driven, CSA is also responsible for providing the means to coordinate configuration changes across the control system as a whole.

In order to deliver complete and coherent solutions for end users, the CSA section plans developments in-synch with other CSS sections and in function of global priorities of the group. CSA takes a leading role to steer other CSS developments towards having a globally integrated configuration based on the relevant CSA software platforms. To facilitate the integration across a distributed controls architecture, CSA provides solutions to orchestrate and coordinate configuration changes across the various sub-elements of the control system. Development and maintenance of service-specific integrations is done in close collaboration with relevant CSS sections.

CSA provides data repositories, various APIs and business logic reflecting workflows and procedures used to manage the control system. CSA works in close collaboration with the CSS-GTA section to provide the graphical interfaces serving as interactive entry points to CSA services. CSA is not responsible for data entry or the quality of entered data, beyond what the CSA systems can programmatically validate.

The configuration of the functional (physical) layout of the CERN accelerator complex and supporting infrastructure, plays a vital role in bridging the world of controls with engineering. CSA provides the system and tools to manage functional layouts, linking to the EN department activities to verify the coherent integration between beam line components, plan new layouts for the future and link to the CERN CMMS. In the beams domain, the layouts serve as foundations for various logical controls configurations and provide the detailed optical beam layout data used by beam physicists, to ensure overall data integrity, allow generation of appropriate initial operational settings, and give a reference for the mechanical alignment of the beam line elements.

CSA is responsible for providing a dedicated system and tools to manage the logical configuration of the control system, including computers, logical controls devices with their interfaces and alarms, timing, middleware, role-based access control, data processing and logging, as well as a dedicated system to configure monitoring and alerting related to various technical infrastructure.

To enable BE operations teams to actually control the CERN particle accelerators and experimental areas in a reliable and reproducible manner, CSA provides advanced, mission-critical systems, to manage a huge volume of complex settings structures, corresponding to parameters of more than 100’000 devices. This includes settings for a multitude of operational scenarios, and covers not only the latest setting values, but also a full history back in time, allowing a coherent restore to a previous state, at any moment. The settings management also extends to sophisticated routing of signals acquired from oscilloscopes and digitisers to control-room applications. In order to optimise operational procedures, CSA provides software to automate complex and repetitive sequences of tasks.  The settings management aspects build on the aforementioned CSA services related to physical and logical configurations.

In addition to all other CSS sections, CSA stakeholders are spread across the Accelerator & Technology sector (ATS), including Operations teams, ATS equipment specialists, Experimental Areas coordinators and physicists.