DAWN is an open source software (licence) for the visualisation and processing of scientific data. Although specifically developed for data from synchrotron based techniques, many of the features of DAWN are useful in other fields. DAWN loads data from many common formats (text files, tiffs, hdf5…), as well as those specific to x-ray techniques (NeXus, EDF, MAR…).

DAWN is funded primarily by Diamond Light Source and works within the Eclipse Science Working Group to allow a range of science facilities to make use of the product.

There are several other open source projects either related to DAWN or that DAWN is built around, a non-exhaustive list of these projects can be found below:


The GDA project is an open-source framework for creating customised data acquisition software for science facilities such as neutron and x-ray sources. It is based on the Generic Data Acquisition (GDA) software developed at Diamond Light Source. The GDA was initially developed at SRS Daresbury but since 2003 it has been adopted by Diamond Light Source who took over as the principal developer. DAWN shares some core file reading, processing and visualisation code with GDA.

Eclipse January

Eclipse January is a set of libraries for handling numerical data in Java. It is inspired in part by NumPy and aims to provide similar functionality.

Eclipse Nebula

DAWN makes extensive use of the Eclipse Nebula project, especially the visualization components.


Jzy3d is an open source 3d plotting java library which DAWN uses for surface, waterfall and volume render plots.


PyDev is a Python IDE for Eclipse, which DAWN uses for Python and Jython developememt.