The PCDS Skywalker Project

The Skywalker software suite is a set of of Python tools designed to automatically deliver the photon beam to a number of experimental hutches at LCLS

Design Goals

  • Create an organized database of photon instruments and their associated metadata. This allows high-level applications a clean and consistent API to both store the information necessary to perform their intended task with minimal repeated code written to instantiate and save device configurations
  • Provide the device abstractions necessary to manipulate any instrument involved in the alignment of an LCLS beamline.
  • Automatically detect devices that need to be removed or inserted during the alignment process. Provide a Python API for operators to control large swathes of the beamline as a single object.
  • Create a Python ecosystem that is extensible to any automation project at SLAC by creating generalized scripts to perform common tasks. This includes providing the framework to use predictive control on any system that can be modeled with a simple analytical function
  • Using existing Photon diagnostics, steer the beam through an abitrary number of mirrors to deliver the beam quickly aand accurately for the LCLS experimental program

Accessing Applications

The top level skywalker repository will install two executables skywalker and lightpath in your /usr/bin directory. One can manually use the lightpath.ui.LightApp widget, but this script will handle loading the configuration stored with skywalker/config/metadata.json into the lightpath itself.

lightpath --hutch MFX

The skywalker executable is installed as well. By default, this is launched in a simulation mode, but by using --live option, the application is instantiated ready for automated alignment

skywalker --live

configuration stored with ``skywalker/config`` as their source.

Software Packages

The following software packages work in concert to accomplish the goals listed above:

  • happi: A database protocol capable of storing arbitrary metadata about beamline devices.
  • lightpath: Group devices into long paths allowing operators to quickly determine where the beam is currently being delivered
  • pswalker: Plans neccesary for the alignment of the LCLS beamlines.
  • psbeam: Image processing tools used to analyze the output of photon diagnostics.


Install the most recent tagged build:

conda install skywalker -c skywalker-tag -c lightsource2-tag -c conda-forge

Install the most recent development build:

conda install skywalker -c skywalker-dev -c lightsource2-tag -c conda-forge