The Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) is a software environment used to develop and implement distributed control systems to operate devices such as particle accelerators, telescopes and other large experiments. EPICS also provides SCADA capabilities. The tool is designed to help develop systems which often feature large numbers of networked computers providing control and feedback.
EPICS uses client/server and publish/subscribe techniques to communicate between the various computers. One set of computers (the servers or input/output controllers), collect experiment and control data in real-time using the measurement instruments attached to it. This information is given to another set of computers (the clients) using the Channel Access (CA) network protocol. CA is a high bandwidth networking protocol, which is well suited to soft real-time applications such as scientific experiments.
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