Modelling and control of neutron and synchrotron beamline positioning systems

Nneji, S. O.; Zhang, S. Y.; Kabra, S.; Moat, R. J. and James, J. A. (2016). Modelling and control of neutron and synchrotron beamline positioning systems. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 813 pp. 123–131.



Measurement of residual stress using neutron or synchrotron diffraction relies on the accurate alignment of the sample in relation to the gauge volume of the instrument. Automatic sample alignment can be achieved using kinematic models of the positioning system provided the relevant kinematic parameters are known, or can be determined, to a suitable accuracy.

In this paper, the use of techniques from robotic calibration theory to generate kinematic models of both off-the-shelf and custom-built positioning systems is demonstrated. The approach is illustrated using a positioning system in use on the ENGIN-X instrument at the UK׳s ISIS pulsed neutron source comprising a traditional XYZΩ table augmented with a triple axis manipulator. Accuracies better than 100 microns were achieved for this compound system.

Discussed here in terms of sample positioning systems these methods are entirely applicable to other moving instrument components such as beam shaping jaws and detectors.

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