Working for the ITER Project in offices in France or abroad, over 50 organizations (Domestic Agencies, fusion labs, contractors) are presently using the CODAC Core System. An infrastructure has been set up to distribute the software to these and future organizations and to keep track of versions used. Training and user support is also provided.
The ITER CODAC
(Control, Data Access and Communication) system can be thought of as the brain and central nervous system of ITER. It physically connects all plant systems using computer networks and makes sure they speak the same language. This is a very challenging task, considering that CODAC interfaces to more than 30 different plant systems which are developed and procured by the ITER partners. These plant systems generate and exchange an estimated total number of about 1,000,000 signals.
Ensuring a consistent way of managing these plant systems is paramount for a successful operation of ITER. In order to achieve this, we have developed a set of standards for the plant Instrumentation and Control systems called the Plant System Design Handbook and suite of software called the CODAC Core System which guarantees that central control and plant systems can communicate. The underlying basis is a widely used open-source software called EPICS (Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System)
which is also used in many other big science projects.
In addition to enable communication and integration, CODAC provides a number of other services essential to ITER operation. These include applications for the central supervision and orchestration, the Plasma control system and the central data archiving. The plasma control system will ensure that an ITER pulse is executed correctly such that the primary machine goals are achieved (500 MW of fusion power and Q>=10). During such a pulse, a tremendous amount of data is generated which will be analyzed by physicists around the world. The central archive has the challenging responsibility to first of all collect all the data produced by the plant systems and secondly make that data available to the scientific community as quickly as possible so that analysis can start.