Accelerator Control Systems (ACO)


The primary task of the Accelerator Controls (ACO) department is the design, construction, operation, maintenance, further development and optimization of the computerized control system of all GSI and FAIR accelerators as well as of machine protection and personnel protection systems.

The control system currently covers the GSI accelerators, consisting of the linear accelerator UNILAC, the synchrotron SIS-18, the experimental storage rings ESR and CRYRING, and a large number of beam transport lines. With the FAIR facility under construction, the large superconducting synchrotron SIS-100, the superconducting mass separator S-FRS, the proton linac, two storage rings (CR, HESR) and a large number of (high-current) beam transport lines will be added in the first realization phase. With respect to the control system, GSI and FAIR form a unified homogenious system, so that existing GSI legacy systems are currently being modernized and adapted to the new system standards.

The Controls department is inparticular responsible for the overall architecture and central system design of the control system. In the further development of the control system, the specialists of the department work closely with the other GSI departments, with international FAIR partners, and within the framework of collaborations with the European Nuclear Research Center CERN.

The hardware scope of controls solutions supported by the department ranges from field-level electronic boards and (real-time) equipment control computers to central computing servers and technical networks up to the technical control room installations. The department supports and maintains a substantial and wide rage of software code base across the full system stack (field level, communication and system services, operational applications, SCADA).


The department comprises the following 7 working groups:

  • Hardware und Elektronics (HEL) - Electronics development and workshop
  • Front-End Control (FEC) - Hardware related software development for (real-time) control of accelerator components
  • System Services (SER) - central system back-end services and middleware
  • Applications (APP) - Graphical user interface application programs for and Accelerator settings control and management
  • Networks and IT-Infrastructure (INN) - IT Infrastructure und technical networks for accelerator operation/control
  • Timing (TOS) - Timing system for time synchronisation, event distribution and sequencing
  • Industrial Controls (IND) - Industrial automation and SCADA-based control solutions

Projects & Activities

Present main activities of the department are:

  • Design, development and commissioning of the new accelerator control system for the joint FAIR/GSI facilities
  • Modernisation and renovation of the control system of UNILAC, replacement of obsolete old controls solutions
  • Development and technical support for Machine Protection Systems for FAIR and GSI
  • Support for the ongoing accelerator operation


Abteilungsleitung / Head

Dr. Ralph C. Bär

Tel: +49 6159 71 2349

Office: BR3.2.158

Stellvertretung / Deputy

Jutta Fitzek

Tel: +49 6159 71 1689

Office: BR1.3.014

Project Assistance

Dr. Fredéric Ameil

Tel: +49 6159 71 2780

Office: BR3.2.159

Sekretariat / Secretary Office

Anke Herforth-Maschmann

Tel: +49 76159 71 3349

Office: BR3.2.158a