The Virtual BeamLine (VBL) is an eResearch demonstrator, which has been built by VeRSI. It allows users of the macromolecular crystallography (MX1), micro crystallography (MX2) and powder diffraction beamlines (PD) to see experiments from a location remote to the synchrotron. They can also view instruments and the work areas associated with the beamlines.
In addition, the VBL provides users with a high-quality video-conferencing system and shared applications. Users are able to manipulate samples via motor controls, through a remote desktop and an interface to the controls. Collected experimental data can be transferred to storage at the researcher's home institution securely using the VBL Storage Gateway. The VBL Storage Gateway offers a range of file-transfer protocols, including GridFTP, SRB, iRODS, HPN-SSH and web-based SSL.
In addition to the beamline-specific activities, the VBL provides beamtime booking and the online induction service allowing users to undergo the necessary safety training.