The story of Libera Spark ERXR began back in 2014 when its sparks ignited for the very first time at European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Since then, it has been used at various laboratories as a reliable beam position monitor.

Over the last decade, our team has ensured that the instrument remained the best on the market with several software updates that pushed usability to ever higher levels. We particularly remember when Libera Spark ERXR was made compatible with Libera Base, which further expanded its communication capabilities and thus our collaboration with many more particle accelerators worldwide. Additionally, based on user requests, several hardware and software updates were implemented to the original Libera Spark, resulting in a completely refreshed instrument. This made it possible for a little Libera spark to ignite in laboratories across Europe, the US, and Asia.

Libera Sparks ERXR before they left Solkan to their new home at ESRF in 2014. 

In December 2022, we embarked on a significant development project for Libera Spark ERXR. While keeping the same instrument’s name, the electronics now features many new functionalities:

  1. Extended input signal range: additional programmable attenuator at the inputs extends the dynamic range by 15 dB.
  2. External sampling reference: the A/D converters can lock to externally provided sampling clock.
  3. New Operating System: supports faster floating point operations and provides more efficient turn-by-turn data processing. Latest security updates were applied as well.
  4. Several minor software additions, such as more flexible position calculation equation, support for various EPICS extensions and a refreshed CSS Phoebus Graphical User Interface.

As mentioned, the development project started in December 2022 and concluded with serial production in August 2023. The new functionalities of Libera Spark ERXR will be fully utilized for the first time at BESSY-II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). A large shipment of 160 instruments was delivered to HZB in November and December 2023.

During this year’s Libera Workshop we had the opportunity to learn about the updates from our product manager Peter and even hear first hand feedback from our colleague Günther Rehm from HZB.

You can find PDFs to their presentations here:

  1. Peter Leban, Instrumentation Technologies: Updates on Libera Briliance+ and Libera Spark ERXR: projects and internal developments
  2. Günther Rehm, HZB: Bumpless Transition to New Orbit Feedback in BESSY II and MLS using Libera Spark ERXR

If you missed Libera Workshop, please take time to listen to Günther Rehm and Peter Leban’s talks about Libera Spark ERXR update.