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New Developments for a Full Automation of the FIP Beamline at the ESRF

New Developments for a Full Automation of the FIP Beamline at the ESRF content piece image
FIP (French beamline for the Investigation of Proteins) at the ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) pushed developments in automation to reach a fully automated beamline. - The energy adjustment and beam optimization are completely automated [1]. - The screening of the different protein crystals is ensured by a robotic system: CATS (Cryogenic Automated Transfer System) [2] now commercialized by IRELEC. - In addition, this robot offers the possibility to analyze crystals directly as they grow in drops inside crystallization plates [3].

FIP has then developed in collaboration with GREINER Bio-One a new crystallization plate devoted to this new application. - The centering of the protein crystal is improved using the installed UV laser [4]. - The automation of the data recording and processing with ADP (Automated Data Processing) [5] has also been achieved. - The remote access to FIP is available via a ssh access. - The FIP team pushed automation even further and used the robot to replace the diffractometer.

Ultimately the robot will be able not only to position the crystals in the X-ray beam, but also to rotate the crystals accurately for data recording [6]. Since the beamline was launched in 1999, more than 180 structures have been resolved on FIP.