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Latest ITER Newsline

  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

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A vision of the future

-Robert Arnoux

Anders Wallander and Thomas Casper: working on RDBS has provided strong linkage between CODAC engineers and Fusion Science and Technology (FST) physicists. (Click to view larger version...)
Anders Wallander and Thomas Casper: working on RDBS has provided strong linkage between CODAC engineers and Fusion Science and Technology (FST) physicists.
The year is sometime around 2030. The place - the ITER control room. All attention is focused on a large screen that displays graphs, figures, colours and a cutaway view of the vacuum vessel with a pulsing "D" shape at its centre.

A full Deuterium-Tritium plasma shot is underway. It is not the first one, but a DT shot is never routine. At one point, cheers and applause resound — the present shot is just perfect...all parameters nominal, the entire control system performing at its best.

Although this scene may belong to the future, the display screen can already be visualized thanks to a CODAC application that was recently developed by the ITER CODAC team and the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego. A precious tool, the Real-Time Plasma Boundary Display System (RBDS) allows the presentation of data simulating actual plasma shots, based on different scenarios.

To the lay viewer, the on-screen simulation looks like just another animation. In reality, obtaining this "quick display overview" takes a few days' execution time on the Livermore National Laboratory computer cluster.

"Visualization, even at this early stage of the project, is very important," says CODAC Section Leader Anders Wallander. "It provides indications about what data we'll need and when we'll need it. It also allows us to validate the technologies chosen for CODAC."

A precious tool for the ongoing work at ITER, the Real-Time Plasma Boundary Display System (RBDS) allows to present data generated from different scenarios simulating actual plasma shots. (Click to view larger version...)
A precious tool for the ongoing work at ITER, the Real-Time Plasma Boundary Display System (RBDS) allows to present data generated from different scenarios simulating actual plasma shots.
RBDS is part of the High Performance Networking (HPN) project that ITER partly contracted in 2009 to General Atomics, the private company that operates the DIII-D Tokamak. The project investigates and prototypes technologies for data transport architecture — a key issue in tokamak operation.
On the ITER side, working on RBDS has created strong ties between CODAC engineers and Fusion Science and Technology (FST) physicists — something Anders considers essential to the success of the project.

"There are several scientists in the Member countries doing plasma simulation" says Thomas Casper, the FST experimental physicist who participated in the project. "Soon, we'll make our visualization and data system available to them. It's part of the ITER philosophy: this huge project should drag in what was scattered until to now."


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