CHESS

Web-based activity and resource management software

What they needed

The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) is a high-intensity X-ray source primarily supported by the National Science Foundation, which provides state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation facilities for research in various physical sciences.

CHESS needed a complex online reporting and management system for accepting and reviewing proposals from users around the world, as well as scheduling beamtime and tracking user visits.

Peter Ko

Our custom software solution

GORGES created a custom web application using the Yii PHP framework, which incorporates several key features:

  • User registration and profile editing, to track demographics and changing institutional affiliations
  • Proposal submission interface for users – including detailed information on scientific approach, funding sources, and related publications
  • Tools for CHESS staff to review and approve proposals based on scientific merit and safety concerns
  • Interactive scheduling tools to coordinate availability of beamline stations and other resources
  • Check-in interface to allow operators to track user visits and radiation safety badges
  • Tools to support CHESS's reporting requirements to its various funding agencies

CHESS Screen

Application Maintenance

We are continually adding features and refactoring the application to meet CHESS's needs, while also keeping it compatible with current web standards. The application has been in production use for more than five years – which is an eternity in Internet Time. One of our major upgrades was adding responsive layout via the Bootstrap CSS framework, to support mobile devices.

Man on laptop viewing CHESS software

I have been very impressed with the progress and creative thinking GORGES has brought to the table.

Ernest Fontes
Associate Director, CHESS