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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryolines | Another day, another spool

    Having wedged his body and equipment into the cramped space between the ceiling and the massive pipe, a worker is busy welding two cryolines spools. A few metre [...]

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  • Image of the week | Bearings unveiled

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  • Technology | Perfecting tritium breeding for DEMO and beyond

    While ITER will never breed tritium for its own consumption, it will test breeding blanket concepts—the tools and techniques that designers of future DEMO react [...]

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  • Fusion world | Japan and Europe complete the assembly of JT-60SA

    The JT-60SA fusion experiment in Naka, Japan, is designed to explore advanced plasma physics in support of the operation of ITER and next-phase devices. After s [...]

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  • Manufacturing | Thermal shield milestone in Korea

    Six years after the start of fabrication, Korean contractor SFA has completed the last 40° sector of vacuum vessel thermal shield. The stainless steel panels, c [...]

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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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