From canSAS


standard for reduced small-angle scattering data of any dimension, using NeXus/HDF5

Enhancing the sharing and re-use of small-angle scattering data

The drive to more complex SAS experiments, larger data volumes, and requirements for open data and data repositories calls for standardised, community-based approaches to data interchange. Enabling automated, traceable, data processing analysis workflows requires rich metadata to enhance the usability of the scattering data itself.

Advancing these aims, and building on shared community experience, canSAS are pleased to announce the next generation small-angle scattering reduced data storage format: NXcanSAS.

The format, employing NeXus structured HDF5 files, allows for the storage of reduced small-angle scattering data of multiple dimension. Supporting a wide range of metadata, and a flexible description of both uncertainties and resolution information, the format is user-extensible and capable of storing data from any small-angle scattering beamline.

NXcanSAS is implemented fully in Mantid, DAWN, and SasView. Software using HDF5 libraries can read and write NXcanSAS.

Visualization software that can plot data from NXcanSAS files include PyMCA and NeXpy.

Read more about canSAS activities at http://www.cansas.org

Documentation and the technical specification for NXcanSAS are found in the NeXus manual: http://download.nexusformat.org/doc/html/classes/applications/NXcanSAS.html

For more information, contact: Pete Jemian <jemian@anl.gov>


canSAS Data Formats Working Group:

  • Pete Jemian (APS)
  • Andrew Jackson (ESS)
  • Tobias Richter (ESS)
  • Paul Butler (NIST)
  • Steve King (STFC)
  • Adrian Rennie (Uppsala Univ.)
  • Brian Pauw (BAM)
  • Ron Ghosh (ILL)

This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, under Contract No. DE-AC-02-06CH11357.