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New Compact RIO control system

The Stanford Noble Gas Laboratory has begun a new project in collaboration with Dr. Jeremy Hourigan of UC Santa Cruz (Hourigan does system automation on a consulting basis via Santa Cruz Laser Microfurnace) to design and implement a new extraction line and instrument control system based upon National Instruments CompactRIO hardware. The CompactRIO architecture features user-programmable FPGA that facilitates high-speed control, inline data processing, and complex timing and triggering of routines. This will permit smooth interfacing of currently stand-alone elements of mass spectrometer systems including: (1) the diode, CO2, and UV laser systems with real-time machine vision analysis, stage motion, and temperature monitoring feedback; (2) the multi-stage vacuum system with valve and pressure monitoring networks augmented by temperature-controlled gettering and cryogenic systems for gas purification; and (3) control of the Noblesse magnetic sector and Pfeiffer quadrupole mass spectrometers for seamless interaction with the “front end” equipment. The fully embedded system will be directly accessed via a touch panel Human Interface. High-level remote data access and analysis will occur via a networked PC.