With the Soleil synchrotron, the Internet of Things shines in the scientific world


Teams at the Soleil synchrotron, a particle accelerator, plan to deploy connected objects to oversee their equipment and ensure researchers the right amount of light is used in the experiments.

On the Saclay plateau near Paris, while the campus was under construction, a large circular building stands out in the landscape: the Synchrotron Soleil. Like a star, this particle accelerator emits light. More precisely, scientists recover the various radiations (9 orders of energy are produced, from infrared to X-rays, passing through ultraviolet) emitted by the electrons in the accelerator and exploit them in their experiments. The sun’s synchrotron was analyzed in particular from dust from comets, Stradivarius lacquer to determine the material’s effect on sound, or mother-of-pearl beads to understand their growth and the parameters that influence their shape. The synchrotron produces 5,000 hours of light beams per year on 29 beamlines that serve specialized analysis laboratories. Difficulty: ensuring that failure does not occur. Because the beam time is limited and the slightest vibration can reduce the experience to nothing. It is for this use of device supervision that the Internet of Things comes into play.

The synchrotron contains 29 light beams. © Celia Garcia Monteiro

By 2027, a new machine should replace the existing one and connected objects will be integrated into the project, particularly to ensure predictive maintenance. Yves-Marie Abiven, Head of Synchrotron Electronics Control Acquisition Group, took charge of this topic along with IT teams to bring these technologies into this synchrotron upgrade. Once optimized, the latter will allow experiments 10,000 times faster than current experiments, at nanometer scale precision. Connected objects will be incorporated into the solution. To fully understand the technology, select the appropriate solution in an accelerator environment – (near an industrial environment with aluminum tubes and machine noise) – and develop this knowledge in-house, from May 2021 follow the Continuing Education CES IoT course at Télécom Paris Executive Education.

“His main question was how to approach the IoT project. In teamwork, we had him work on market studies to design a solution,” says Denis Beautier, Education Director. During his thesis discussion in December, where his administration was present, Yves Marie Abevin presented the advantages of stewardship through connected objects in Bluetooth Low Energy. “Without this training, I wouldn’t have considered Bluetooth for industrial use,” he admits. Yves-Marie Abiven has yet to verify the absence of interference, but interest is evident in the pilot stations designated for samples, “where the wire sometimes prevents the sensors from being positioned correctly”.

A truly organized platform for the Internet of Things

The main advantage of the Internet of Things in its sector: real time. For a line called a Nanoscopium, a 155-meter long that makes it possible to present a 70-nm beam on a sample, in medicine or paleobiology, “you have to observe the entire mechatronic gamut – including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) that contributes to the stability of the instruments. Today. , to check mechanical drift or vibrations, it is sometimes necessary to stop experiments to take measurements. Tomorrow with the Internet of Things, measurements can be taken in real time, and teams will be able to follow the data on their smartphones and intervene proactively”, explains Yves Marie Abevin. His research while training at Télécom Paris Executive Education also focused on Maintenance in Operational Conditions (MCO) of objects in order to ensure the scalability of solutions without future development.

“The advantage of the synchrotron is to use the Tango platform to manage its equipment and take advantage of an interface that ensures interoperability,” confirms Yves-Marie Abiven. Tango is designed as a secure, open source IoT platform that already manages over 50,000 different devices, and is suitable for scaling. “This big data platform is used in the scientific world by other synchrotron communities (There are two in France, this one and in Grenoble, editor’s note) And through giant telescopes, such as SKA in Australia, that put Tango in the panorama of IoT platforms,” he highlights.

In the eyes of Yves Marie Abevin, who will implement POC testing in the coming months, the scientific world could indeed constitute a vertical field for the Internet of Things. The operating director notes that CERN has deployed LoRaWAN “We have our own characteristics but our needs are similar.” His continuing education also allowed him to glimpse the possibilities of 5G to control scientists’ robots or connected detectors. The synchrotron also shines in many IoT projects.

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