Unified Control of Sample Environment

Our equipments are controlled with IGOR Pro, an extraordinarily powerful and extensible scientific graphing, data analysis, image processing and programming software tool for scientists and engineers. IGOR Pro is developed by WaveMetrics for Mac OS and Windows. If we had to justify the reasons for which we use IGOR, we would simply list the following points:

  • Very responsive company: clarifications, new features, and the occasional bug extermination
  • Automatic log-book management, command line and powerful GUI,
  • Programming language allows automation,
  • Efficient storage of large data sets (unlike spreadsheets),
  • Works well with 'missing' data (explicit use of NaN),
  • Fast display of huge data sets (a million points in under a second),
  • Steep learning curve, but useful work can be done within a day or so,
  • Excellent documentation (paper, on-line and contextual),
  • Cross-platform compatibility,
  • Not costing a fortune.

We have developed several routines and plugins for monitoring and controlling our equipments. You can download them for free. For more information, please contact sane(at)

Liquid Helium Distribution

The distribution to about 40 instruments and laboratories of liquid helium dewars and the recovery of 15 to 20 tons of helium gas require a rigorous day-to-day management. In order to ease this work and allow a collaborative management, we use a mobile data terminal.

This terminal is a simple In-House application developed with the iPhone SDK. It allows us to manage :

  • the quantity of liquid helium provided by the liquefiers,
  • the quantity of liquid helium used on each instrument,
  • the quantity of helium gas recovered on each instrument,
  • the helium gas compressed and stored in our racks,
  • the quantities of gas recovered at ESRF and IBS.

The data are entered by the staff, synced automatically between their iPhones and uploaded to our server. An application downloads these data, calculates the losses and produces automatically the reports for the teams of the CEA, CNRS, ESRF, IBS and ILL. For more information, please contact us by email.