Enable Recite

Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Art and ITER | Two sisters, two suns and a monument to fusion

    Amid the gentle slopes of Asciano, Italy, there stands a stone window that frames the Sun on the summer solstice. It looks as though it might have always been t [...]

    Read more

  • Staff | The men and women of ITER

    They hail from Ahmedabad and Prague ... from Naka and Moscow ... from Seoul, Hefei, Atlanta and hundreds of other towns and cities across the 35 nations partici [...]

    Read more

  • ITER Talks | All about ITER and fusion

    Beginning this autumn, the ITER Organization will be launching a new video series to inform, inspire and educate. The first video—introducing the series and off [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | A majestic components enters the stage

    The floor of the Assembly Hall is an ever-changing stage. Like characters in a grand production, components of all size and shapes make a spectacular entry, pl [...]

    Read more

  • Magnet system | A set of spares for the long journey

    In about five years, ITER will embark on a long journey through largely uncharted territory. Conditions will be harsh and—despite all the calculations, modellin [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Collaborating with IPP Garching on real-time software for plasma control

The collaboration agreement on plasma control software was signed in November by ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot and IPP Scientific Director Sibylle Günter. (In the background, ITER's Axel Winter and IPP's Gerhard Raupp.) Photo: ITER Organization/Christian Lünig (Click to view larger version...)
The collaboration agreement on plasma control software was signed in November by ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot and IPP Scientific Director Sibylle Günter. (In the background, ITER's Axel Winter and IPP's Gerhard Raupp.) Photo: ITER Organization/Christian Lünig
Plasma experiments at ITER will be driven by a complex real-time software infrastructure. This infrastructure will be developed with support from the fusion community in an open international collaboration, currently with partners from Europe and the US. The CODAC Section of the ITER Organization and the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching, Germany, have agreed on a long-term collaboration to drive this development.
 
One of the major aims of the collaboration is also the deployment of the real-time infrastructure at the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak where it will be tested in routine operation. The migration of the real-time control system of ASDEX upgrade to the new infrastructure is foreseen, making it an ideal machine to develop and demonstrate control concepts for ITER using an identical software base.

Controlling the fusion plasma for ITER is a very complex task. It involves not only magnetically confining and stabilizing the plasma, but also driving the machine to achieve its performance goal of Q=10 and a produced fusion power of 500 MW.

"In order to achieve these goals, the real-time system controlling the ITER plasma discharges will be significantly more complex than the ones used at existing fusion devices," explains Axel Winter, who is responsible for the real-time plasma control software in the ITER team. "We are already working closely with teams here at ITER and in the Domestic Agencies to ensure that the real-time control system will also be able to serve the ITER diagnostics."

The real-time control system will use data from about 100 diagnostics to calculate the necessary control signals for the plant systems which can influence the plasma discharge, for example the power supplies for the magnetic coils, fuelling or heating systems.

This allows the discharge program—with a target duration of up to 1 hour—to be tailored to the needs of the scientists and engineers. "It will require a smart system capable of not only quickly counteracting fast plasma instabilities but also adapting the discharge program in real-time to make full use of the long plasma duration. In addition, the system needs to be robust, yet flexible, so we can continue to develop it over the course of the ITER lifetime, integrating our expanding knowledge, adapting the control systems to changing conditions, and rapidly implementing new concepts," adds Gerhard Raupp from IPP who, together with Axel, will manage the IPP-ITER Organization collaboration.

The six-year agreement was recently signed by ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot and IPP Scientific Director Sibylle Günter during a visit of an IPP delegation to the ITER site.

The collaboration will be executed in three phases. After the development of the complex software infrastructure is completed in a first phase, it will be tested at the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak in Garching using a diagnostic as a test system during routine operation. Finally, the migration of ASDEX Upgrade's real-time control system to the new software infrastructure is foreseen, making ASDEX Upgrade an ideal test bed to develop and demonstrate control concepts for ITER using an identical software base.

IPP has a strong track record in the field. In 1988, the first fully digital plasma control system was implemented at ASDEX, followed in 2000 by the first plasma control system based on a modular software framework, which is also the conceptual vision for ITER. Axel concludes: "As both ASDEX Upgrade and ITER will use an identical software infrastructure, we can expect very strong synergies both for the development and testing of control schemes for ITER and for future training of ITER operators at an existing tokamak."

Read the IPP press release in English or German.


return to the latest published articles