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NICE (the Neutron Instrument Control Environment) is a software package developed in-house at NCNR for controlling the neutron instruments.  It has a client-server architecture, with these key features:


  • High reliability, designed to run continuously through a reactor beam cycle
  • Recoverable from power loss, network instability
  • Hardware operation is modeled as a directed node-graph for handling constraints and dependencies between elements
  • Produces NeXus (HDF5) rich data files (in addition to other formats)
  •  In production since 2012


  • Can run from anywhere inside NIST firewall - for connecting from dedicated instrument workstations or office PCs
  • Self-updating simple binary installation (link only valid inside firewall)
  • Simple point-and-click graphical interface for
    • moving the instrument components
    • controlling high-level physical quantities (Q, [H,K,L], Ei, Ef, etc.)
    • setting up templated scans ("trajectories")
    • viewing real-time plots of measurements
Created September 13, 2018, Updated September 14, 2023