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On-Line Data-Acquisition Systems in Nuclear Physics, 1969: Chapter 3

In this chapter we present a review and an analysis of total expenditures for on-line computing in a large number of laboratories supported by the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation through 1968. (Appendix B gives the background for this economic survey.)

National Research Council (US). Ad Hoc Panel on On-line Computers in Nuclear Research

On-Line Data-Acquisition Systems in Nuclear Physics

On-Line Data-Acquisition Systems in Nuclear Physics, 1969, by HW Fulbright et al. National Research Council is part of HackerNoon Books Series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. Chapter 3: A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF EXPENDITURES

Chapter 3. A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF EXPENDITURES

In this chapter we present a review and an analysis of total expenditures for on-line computing in a large number of laboratories supported by the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation through 1968. (Appendix B gives the background for this economic survey.)

A. THE NATURE OF THE DATA

Laboratory directors were requested to supply a separate report covering each data acquisition system currently in use or under construction and, in addition, to supply an estimate of anticipated future requirements for the period 1970-1974. The high-energy field was excluded. Information was also requested on process-control applications, eg, systems to control accelerator operation or to monitor progress and to execute control functions during the course of an experiment. In every case details were to be supplied regarding the nature and capability of the system and its cost in dollars and manpower during the design, construction, and operation phases.

In all, 46 different systems were reported by 22 different institutions (listed in Appendix B). Berkeley, Brookhaven, and Oak Ridge together reported 21. The various systems range in total cost (including manpower) from about $40,000 to about $1,000,000. Most are in operation, but a few are under construction, and a few others are in the advanced proposal or design stage. Plans for 16 substantial expansions and proposed expansions of existing systems were also reported. There was a wide range of thoroughness of compliance with the request; for example, cost estimates ranged from the most meticulous analyzes down to one case where no cost information whatever was supplied.

In assessing the reliability and completeness of the data the reviewer concluded that in general the costs of manufactured hardware items such as central processors (CPU’s), line printers, card readers, rotating memory devices, etc. should be regarded as reasonably accurate, while estimates of the amount of manpower used, and its cost, seemed much less reliable; in fact, the manpower item was frequently not covered, especially in connection with the preparation of systems software. Whenever a report was more or less complete, and there seemed to be a reasonable good basis for doing so, the reviewer estimated appropriate values ​​for missing items by making use of figures given in more complete reports on similar systems constructed or operated under similar circumstances.

FIGURE 12Breakdown of system for analysis.

With regard to labor costs, government laboratory people seem to be in a much better position to supply figures than are university people. The reviewer got the impression that the university respondents have, on the average, a much less clear idea of ​​the dollar value of people’s time and a much less clear idea of ​​how to estimate realistically the man-hours consumed by various projects.

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HW, Fulbright et al. 2013. On-Line Data-Acquisition Systems in Nuclear Physics, 1969. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved May 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/42613/42613-h/42613-h.htm#Page_58

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org, located at https://www.gutenberg.org/policy/license. html.

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