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Latest ITER Newsline

  • 22nd ITER Council|Project on track for First Plasma in 2025

    The ITER Council, ITER's governing body, met for the twenty-second time on 20 and 21 June 2018 at the ITER Organization in St Paul-lez-Durance. Council Members [...]

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  • Fusion machines | The second-hand market

    Whatever their size, fusion devices are fine pieces of technology that are complex to design and expensive to build. As research progresses and experimental pro [...]

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  • Manufacturing in China | A set of clamps to resist all loads

    China is providing an extensive array of supports and clamps for ITER's superconducting magnet systems—in all, more than 1,600 tonnes of equipment. On 9 June, t [...]

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  • Power electronics | Coaxial cables arrive from Russia

    Thirty-eight reels of cable on 13 specially equipped trailers ... the recent convoy of electrotechnical equipment shipped by the Russian Domestic Agency was the [...]

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  • Conference|Lions and mammoths and cave bears—oh my!

    Separated by less than 200 kilometres in space—but by 36,000 years in time—the ITER Tokamak and the Chauvet Cave may seem to have little in common. But to scien [...]

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Of Interest

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Watching from above

R.A.

The video stream from the helicopter is particularly impressive: it's like viewing the negative of a black-and-white movie, where people appear as greyish silhouettes and the hot engines of the trailer as intense white. © Courtesy Gendarmerie Nationale (Click to view larger version...)
The video stream from the helicopter is particularly impressive: it's like viewing the negative of a black-and-white movie, where people appear as greyish silhouettes and the hot engines of the trailer as intense white. © Courtesy Gendarmerie Nationale
Anyone travelling in France on vacation or long weekends has heard of Bison futé, a name inspired by American Indian culture that translates as "Cunning Buffalo."

Bison futé is the national gendarmerie-run service that provides real-time information on traffic conditions, road safety and driving restrictions in France.

Last week, the Bison futé command centre for the southeast quarter of French territory, located in Marseille, was busy with a very special mission: monitoring the ITER test convoy as it slowing progressed along the ITER Itinerary.

Every night, as the convoy was readied for yet another leg of the journey to the ITER site, a group of five to six people representing the French authorities (Préfecture), the gendarmerie forces and Agence Iter France prepared for another sleepless night.

As they sat in front of an array of computer screens and radio equipment, the members of this small "ITER cell" had a unique and privileged view on the ongoing operation, some 60 kilometres away.

From left to right: Colonel Geneau, Major Monglat (gendarmerie), Annick Bocchiardo (Iter France), Captain Mounier (gendarmerie) and Joana Amiand (Préfecture). (Click to view larger version...)
From left to right: Colonel Geneau, Major Monglat (gendarmerie), Annick Bocchiardo (Iter France), Captain Mounier (gendarmerie) and Joana Amiand (Préfecture).
"Actually, we are the only ones who have a global vision," says Colonel Geneau of the gendarmerie. "We are connected by radio and telephone with all parties involved. Geolocalization devices on the convoy vehicles provide us with real-time information on convoy progression and we even have infrared images from a helicopter hovering high above the convoy..."

Watching the video stream from the helicopter is particularly impressive: it's like viewing the negative of a black-and-white movie, where people appear as greyish silhouettes and the hot engines of the trailer as intense white. (The helicopter's usual routine is to track offenders or missing persons).

In case of an incident, the ITER cell's "global view" would enable Colonel Geneau to activate the proper response. "We, too, are testing our organization in advance of the actual transport of ITER components," he says.


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