The FMB Oxford Cryocooler is designed to run automatically and unattended after the initial fill and cool-down, with the low-pressure LN2 dewar being topped up from a LN2 main supply system via a solenoid valve operated by level sensors. The control system consists of a 19” rack with a programmable logic controller (PLC) which performs the real-time control and monitoring operations. A PC acts as the user interface system. This PC can be a dual-boot system:
If Windows is selected, dedicated software provides an operator interface (via the local TFT screen and membrane keypad, or via a remote host computer) and a data logging system. This allows the operator to control the Cryocooler, read the instruments and determine the cause of any alarms or faults
If Linux is selected as the operating system, the PC acts as an EPICS IOC which allows the cryocooler to be controlled and operated locally or remotely via an EPICS client
If the PC fails while the cryocooler is running, the operation of the cooler by the PLC will continue unaffected. Only the user interaction will be affected.