Real-time data processing for serial crystallography experiments

Project Title
Real-time data processing for serial crystallography experiments
Principal Investigator
In many scientific and industrial applications, the structure of molecules is of high interest.
As an example, in pharmacy one is interested in the structure of viruses or amino acids.
To identify the structure, it is not possible to construct microscopes that use visible light, since the resolution is limited by the wavelength of the light.
The solution is to use light sources with higher energy, such as an X-ray source. We use X-ray diffraction to extract information abut molecules out of artificially grown micro crystals. The X-ray sources typically are X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) that can deliver a very high radiation dose, far in excess of what the crystal could normally tolerate, in a time span in the range of femtoseconds.
The crystal diffracts the X-rays before it is destructed, overcoming the effect of radiation damage [1]. Due to the limited availability of beam time, the optimization of the collection process is crucial for obtaining good results.
Therefore, the real-time analysis and monitoring of the collected data is of great interest. We develop algorithms and tools that are capable of meeting real-time constraints of current X-ray sources while retaining or improving the results compared to the conventional methods of choice.