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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Making remote handling less remote

    Over a wet and windy three-day period on the ITER site in November, around 90 representatives of the ITER Organization, the Domestic Agencies of Europe and Japa [...]

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  • The framework for sharing ITER intellectual property

    In signing the ITER Agreement in 2006, the seven ITER Members were agreeing not only to share in the costs of constructing and operating the ITER facility, but [...]

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  • Wendelstein achieves ultra-precise magnetic topology

    A recent article in the online journal Nature Communications confirms that the complex topology of the magnetic field of Wendelstein 7-X—the world's largest ste [...]

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  • The Matrix, rigid and fluid

    A fast-growing array of structures and buildings has been emerging across the ITER worksite platform under the control and supervision of the European Domestic [...]

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  • By road, river and sea

    They travelled by road from the Air Liquide factory near Grenoble, sailed down the Rhône River from Lyon and entered the Mediterranean to the east of Fos-sur-Me [...]

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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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