File formats

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Introduction

cctbx.xfel's current native file formats, image pickles and integration pickles, are mainly intermediate file formats useful for debugging and software development. These binary pickle files are serialized python dictionaries optimized for machine readability. The rationale here is that the raw data from an experiment at LCLS is stored in the xtc streams. We process these in memory without needing to write images to disk at all, but provide image pickles if requested for use with the cctbx image viewer for diagnostic purposes. Integration pickles contain integrated intensities and crystal cell and orientation parameters and are read by the merging programs cxi.merge and prime.postrefine.

In an effort to provide more human-readable data files and conform to international standards, we have worked with representatives of ImageCIF to create 64 tile segmented data in CBF format, the same format used in a wide variety of detectors. These CSPAD CBFs are designed to be used with other crystallographic software packages.

Format specifications for these data files are provided below

Image pickles

Integration pickles

CSPAD CBFs

The complete specification for CSPAD CBFs is laid out in an article in the Computational Crystallographic Newsletter: "XFEL Detectors and ImageCIF", Computational Crystallography Newsletter 5, 19-24. (Reprint)