Front-end Software & Timing (FST)

FST wiki (CERN only)

The BE-CSS Front-end Software & Timing (FST) section is responsible for providing a collection of software solutions for real-time control and data acquisition throughout the CERN Accelerator complex. FST is responsible for all aspects related to the specification, design, development, deployment and operational support of the provided solutions, working in close collaboration with the BE Operations group and equipment specialists from the whole Accelerator & Technology Sector (ATS). ​

FST is responsible for defining and steering the evolution of the device-property model and its behaviour. As such, FST provides a transport-agnostic server framework (DSF) targeting device server implementations, including FESA, FGC, UCAP, etc., with support of the main CSS programming languages (C++, Java, Python). In addition, a high-level client library is provisioned to offer the same level of abstraction on the client side and the server side. 

FST provides “FESA” (Front End Software Architecture), which is the de-facto CERN standard software environment for developing real-time Accelerator controls software, used by equipment specialists throughout ATS. A FESA-specific IDE, a graphical introspection application and comprehensive CERN-wide training are also provided as part of the overall service package. “SILECS” (Software Infrastructure for Low-level Equipment Controllers) is a complimentary product provided by FST to interface industrial and low-level controllers within the standard BE-CSS software infrastructure.

In collaboration with other CSS and BE teams, FST contributes towards a signal acquisition and visualisation system called “OASIS” (Open Analogue Signal Information System), providing dedicated control and acquisition software to interface with the underlying digitisers and oscilloscopes. Along similar lines, FST develops and maintains generic real-time control software (“CGFES” - Controls Generic Front-End Software) for analogue and digital I/Os based on standard BE-CEM hardware modules.

Last, but certainly not least, FST is responsible for the CERN Accelerator Timing and Sequencing software systems, which are used to orchestrate the operations of the entire CERN Accelerator complex in a perfectly synchronised manner, sending particle beams from the source to a multitude of destinations, including the LHC.

In order to deliver complete and coherent solutions for end users, the FST section plans developments in-synch with other CSS sections and in function of global priorities of the group. The FST section take a leading role to ensure that Front-End software concepts and functionality are properly supported and integrated throughout the various layers of CSS software systems as needed.