Jun 23 – 24, 2022
US/Eastern timezone

Second Target Station/Computer Science & Math Workshop


Discovery science drives innovation and underpins the technological advances that will solve some of society’s most challenging issues, including clean energy technologies, better medicines, safe potable water, and address aging infrastructures, including transportation. Many of these advances will result from basic research into new materials and new ways to optimize our use of existing materials. Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s neutron sources provide cutting-edge scientific tools to probe the structure and dynamics of matter in unique ways. This insight is fundamental to advancing our ability to discover, design, control, and use new materials to address society’s most pressing needs.

The Spallation Neutron Source Second Target Station (STS) will be a new, high brightness source optimized for production of cold neutrons. It will provide transformational new capabilities that complement the strengths of the current ORNL neutron sources. The high brightness cold neutrons will enable time-resolved measurements of kinetic processes. The intense neutron beams will allow study of smaller samples of newly discovered materials or materials under extreme environmental conditions. The STS pulse rate of 15 Hz enables simultaneous measurement of hierarchical architectures across a broad range of length scales.

The initial suite of eight neutron instruments that will be built as part of the STS Project has been selected. Recent developments in artificial intelligence hold great promise to enhance our ability to not only analyze the data sets that will be produced at these instruments, but also to recognize scientifically relevant features that may have been hidden or difficult to identify with traditional methods. Advanced computing techniques may even provide new ways to design and possibly execute experiments. It is time to consider the scientific software and infrastructure that will enable science on these next generation instruments.

This workshop will be the first in a regular series that will update and extend the initial strategic plan developed at this meeting to incorporate future state-of-the-art data and computing for science and identify emerging technologies.


The goal of this workshop is to begin the process of defining a strategy for scientific computing to enable early and continuing science at the Second Target Station. The workshop will result in a report including a timeline that identifies key decision points and activities tied to key project milestones (i.e., Critical Decisions). Workshop participants are encouraged to consider the following questions in their discussions:

  • How can STS neutron instrument designs incorporate capability for advanced data analysis techniques?   
  • What approaches can be taken to “future proof” computing technologies to best address science questions at STS a decade from now?
  • What are the trends in experiment automation?
  • What algorithms need to be developed to enable the unique capabilities of the selected STS instruments?
  • What gaps in current data analysis and reduction packages will need to be addressed to enable STS instrument capabilities?
  • What are the critical decisions on scientific software and hardware and when should they be made?
  • When should scientific software development activities start?