JBluIce Graphical User Interface

JBluIce Overview

JBluIce is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the GM/CA beamline control system, which is based on EPICS and conforms the look and feel of SSRL BluIce. EPICS is a toolkit for designing distributed control systems and SSRL BluIce is a control system for macromolecular crystallography beamlines popular due to its convenient all-in-one tabbed user interface. JBluIce is implemented in Java (vs Tcl/Tk used in BluIce), relies on widely tested and supported EPICS hardware drivers, and has less software layers than the SSRL BluIce, thus helping to easily access advanced features of hardware and implement faster beamline operations.

JBluIce Tabs

On the Hutch Tab users can change energy, attenuate the beam, open/close shutter, control slits, position CCD detector and align the beam to the goniometer axis.


The Sample Tab provides the crystals view with two video cameras (on-axis microscope and a lower-resolution camera looking from a perpendicular direction) and the controls for sample illumination. It also offers diffraction images viewer, single-click selection of x-ray minibeam collimator, sample annealing, fine beam position adjustments and various other tools for sample environment.


The Screening Tab contains all the controls needed for screening crystals and their indexing with WebIce. This Tab also provides controls for the sample mounting robot.


The Raster Tab provides best-in-class controls for searching tiny optically invisible crystals and finding good spots on poorly diffracting crystals. Both diffraction and fluorescence modes are available. Rastering can be carried in fully automatic and user-managed modes. Polygon rastering can be selected to reduce the number of spots to be inspected with X-rays. The initial search area can be taken from optical loop centering. The data can be exported to data collection Tab for collecting partial data sets on multiple crystal spots.


On the Scan Tab users can acquire fluorescent spectra and perform fluorescence scans around chosen absorption edge in either automatic or advanced controls mode. The scans implement fast on-the-fly signal collection without stopping monochromator and automatic detection of the edge shift with respective shift of fine energy sampling range.


On the Collect tab users can do classic data collection operations such as composing frame collection sequences and viewing the acquired images.


Besides that, the Collect tab also offers vector data collection.


... and data collection strategy.


On the Analysis Tab users can preview the results of background data processing that is automatically spanned by JBluIce and runs on the beamline computing cluster. For more information about background data processing see:


The Log Tab offers controls for saving the parameters of the experiment.


JBluIce Manuals

For JBluIce user manuals including some video tutorials see the GM/CA @ APS 'During your Beamtime' page.


JBluIce Downloads

JBluIce: software is an open source with Berkeley-style License available for downloading from GM/CA @ APS files depository.
StreamWriter: server for the Dectris Eiger family of area detectors, which is used by JBluIce. The source code is available for downloading under the same Berkeley-style License through Github.
TPMAC: EPICS driver for Delta Tau PMAC Ultralite motion controllers, which is widely used in the GM/CA control system as well at multiple other facilities. The source code is available for downloading under EPICS license from GM/CA @ APS website.




GM/CA @ APS Sponsors: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

  GM/CA @ APS is an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Argonne National Laboratory

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