Pychron is a comprehensive hardware control and data reduction package developed and maintained by Dr. Jake Ross. Written in Python for cross-platform use, Pychron interfaces with a variety of digital electronics via serial, Ethernet, USB interfaces.
Note: The following description is for an older software setup called Mass Spec (used prior to Pychron) at NMGRL.
Mass Spec is a comprehensive hardware control and data reduction package developed and maintained by Al Deino of the Berkeley Geochronology Center. Written in RealBasic for the MacOS X operating system, Mass Spec interfaces with the digital electronics supplied by MAP via the GPIB interface (IEEE-488) to control and/or monitor all of the critical mass spectrometer components. The Mass Spec software is also interfaced (GPIB and RS-232) to most of the extraction system. The Mass Spec spectrometer and extraction system control features allow the NMGRL to run completely automated for several days at a time, with little or no human interaction.
After data is collected by the Mass Spec program, it is stored in a MySQL database accessible to all staff and students of the NMGRL. The data reduction features of the program allow unsurpassed control in handling of background, baseline, regression, discrimination, J-value and irradiation constant values, statistics and their application to a sample's 40Ar/39Ar apparent age. Manuscript-quality graphs and tables are easily generated and modified by the Mass Spec software.
Without the Mass Spec software package, the NMGRL would not be capable of producing the quality or quantity of data that it does.
Sample of the hardware that is controlled and monitored by the Mass Spec program.
MAP digital electronics
source high voltage, magnet current, electron multiplier voltage and current, faraday cup voltage
pneumatically operated valves, laser output, lab temperature/humidity, cooling water status, air compressor status, V-70 turbo pump status
Newport X-Y stage controller
CO2 laser stage, UV laser stage
Eurotherm furnace power, furnace loader system, UPS, extraction line vacuum status
video capture of CO2 laser fusion, UV laser ablation or furnace step-heating