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Two sessions relating to canSAS activities were held during the SAS-09 conference in Oxford, UK on 16 and 17 August 2009. These were chaired by Andrew Jackson (NIST) and Adrian Rennie (Uppsala University). The first session consisted of a brief introduction to canSAS activities by Adrian Rennie with a description of the working groups. There followed two talks by John Barker (NIST) on standards used in small-angle scattering and by Pete Jemian (APS, Argonne National Laboratory) on the canSAS 1-D XML data standard.

The second session provided for discussion of the current and future activities for canSAS. This was largely based on the activities of the working groups. A brief summary list follows:

Facilities Representatives

The first telephone discussion of this group had taken place in August. It was agreed that the exchange of information was useful and that regular telephone conferences should be held to exchange information and review the activities of the other working groups. Several items were referred to this group for further consideration:

(a) Future canSAS meeting. A working meeting in about 18 months would be appropriate. The group should seek an appropriate convenient location.

(b) The group should put forward ideas of content for the SAS portal.

(c) Discuss a repository of small-angle scattering data for windows and sample environments.

1-D data format

Version 1.0 of this standard is published and several facilities and data analysis packages support this format. A survey of representatives present indicated the following status:

  • ISIS - the format is the default output from data reduction and can be used by the Fish analysis package.
  • APS - supported as input and output from the IRENA package
  • NCNR - supported as input and will be supported as output from data reduction from the next software release expected in November 2009.
  • ESRF - not yet supported
  • ILL - This format had been supported by previous software but current status was not known. Adrian Rennie was requested to write to ILL to enquire about this.
  • Bruker-AXS - Use an XML format and is interested in the application of this standard.
  • JAERI - canSAS standard is not used.

2-D data format

The scope of this activity is really multi-dimensional data that could include time sequences and other parametric collection of multiple data. This working group would be merged with the 1-D group. It was agreed that if Nexus will produce a standard in the next 12 to 18 months there would be no need for canSAS to work on this separately as the same people are involved with nexus and canSAS. Pete Jemian will provide liaison.


The work from this group had fallen in two categories. General discussion of standards on the mailing list and specific work in circulating glassy carbon samples as a 'round-robin'. The round-robin had involved an ad-hoc group of willing participants. Results of some of this work were reported in a separate presentation by Jan Ilavsky at SAS-09. Jan Ilavsky offered to provide further glassy carbon samples calibrated with USAXS to people wishing to retain them.

There was support for continuing this type of activity and it was agreed that other materials could usefully be circulated. The group will discuss this and, if necessary, use the format of sub-groups to work on different materials. These can include wavelength standards and materials to determine detector response/uniformity as well as intensity standards. The mailing list archive needs to be extended so that more record of the e-mail discussion is accessible.

Igor-Pro Developers

It was mentioned that some more work is needed to facilitate interchange between different software packages. Some members of the group were planning to discuss this immediately following the SAS-09 meeting.

SAS Portal

There had been problems of manpower and funding to support this development but these were addressed in a discussion held in Oxford. A site name is purchased and the group is now developing preliminary content. Links to other relevant content will be provided.