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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

RapiData 2023 at SSRL

Data Collection and Structure Solving: A Practical Course in Macromolecular X-Ray Diffraction Measurement

March 22 - April 1, 2023

Information for Participants

Computing environment at SSRL

The participants will be provided a personal account to store, collect and process data on SSRL macromolecular crystallography computers during the course. While data in personal accounts will be eventually deleted, they can be accessed remotely without restrictions for as long as they remain on disk. Course participants are responsible for backing up diffraction images or processing results generated during the course. There are several options available for data backup, described here

Laptops and remote access

To get remote access to beamlines and data and all the software used in the tutorials, the participants must install a NoMachine client on their laptop before or during the course. This page provides instructions to download, install and configure the remote access software.

Running software tutorials

Participants do not need to install any software packages in their own laptops if they use the NoMachine client, since this application allows access to the SSRL beamline computers, where the software will already be installed and data sets stored. The exception is the ATSAS suite to process small angle solution scattering data, which participants in the SAXS tutorial should download and install in advance.

Transferring data sets to SSRL

Participants who want to process their own data sets can transfer the data via a secure transfer protocol at any time before the start of the course. Please contact the organizers for more details.

Preparing samples for RapiData

Only non-hazardous samples can be sent to the course.

    Please refer to the SSRL User Guide to find out permitted type and length of pins compatible with the use of the SSRL SAM robot. If in doubt, please contact the course organizers.

    Samples have to be sent mounted in a standard SSRL cassette or Unipucks. Note that there are pucks superficially ressembling Uni-pucks with cannot be used with the SAM robot. This page has a diagram showing the differences between the two types of pucks. If not sure about which one is the correct one, please send the organizers a picture of you container to make sure that it is the correct type.

For participants bringing SAXS samples: specific instructions will be e-mailed separately.

Shipping samples

Shipping samples to SSRL

We recommend to ship your samples early. Ideally they should arrive at the latest in the week before the course. We will provide proper storage for samples arriving earlier than that.

  • Participants shipping samples in a cryogenic dewar: please use this form and fill up all the required items. In Access Information select "BeamlineXpress/FCFS", preferred beamline 12-2, proposal number 8238 and Spokeperson "Silvia Russi/RapiData". Attach the shipping labels to each dewar container (in addition to other labels from the shipping company) as instructed in the form. Dewars that arrive early will be stored at SSRL and topped up periodically.
  • To ship solutions for small angle scattering tutorial, address them to /RapiData. The mention to RapiData is necessary to identify the shipment easily. The shipping address is:
         SLAC, SSRL MS: 99
         2575 Sand Hill Rd.
         Menlo Park, CA 94025

    Please alert the organizers in advance if the shipment requires special handling (e.g. refrigeration)

  • International shipments can involve duty or taxes on items shipped. For international shipments, SSRL recommends working with TIGERS (USA) GLOBAL LOGISTICS and to prepare a carnet. Retain a copy of the carnet and ensure that all shipping documents are accurate and consistent. The contact information is
        514 ECCLES AVENUE
        Attn: Jay Allison (jay.allison@go2tigers.com)
        Phone (BUSN):650/873-2842/7230

Shipping samples from SSRL

  • For shipping dewars back please include inside the dewar case or email the organizers a copy of the Dewar Shipping Request form.
  • For shipments outside of the USA, complete a Power Of Attorney to authorize SLAC to ship the dewar.
  • If you wish to leave samples onsite to collect more data after the course has finished, please talk to the course organizers.