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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryostat thermal shield | A "strong back" for a fragile component

    The lower cylinder thermal shield is a large silver-plated component, circular in shape and five metres tall, which fits inside the depression in the cryostat b [...]

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  • Diagnostic shielding | B4C ceramic bricks prove their worth

    A number of materials can effectively shield diagnostic equipment from the neutron flux coming from the plasma. To find the best one, the diagnostics team at IT [...]

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  • Image of the week | The cryostat top lid, batch after batch

    Batch after batch, the elements for the top lid of the ITER cryostat keep arriving from India. As of today, 7 out of the 12 required segments have been delivere [...]

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  • Cooling water system | The tanks within a tank

    Deep inside the bowels of the Tokamak Building, the entrance to one of most spectacular rooms of the whole installation resembles that of a broom cupboard. [...]

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  • ITER assembly | Last major assembly contract signed

    One year after finalizing two major machine assembly contracts, the ITER Organization has chosen the contractors who will carry out assembly and installation ac [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

EPICS

An arena for cooperation

Like the system of nerves in the human body, ITER's control system will connect the ITER "brain" (control room systems) to its eyes and ears (sensors and diagnostic systems) and its muscles and intestines (magnets and conventional systems). Implementation takes the form of a free and open-source software package called EPICS (Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System) that has evolved over 30 years of use by scientists around the world.

Developers and managers from many user sites around the world converged on ITER from 3 to 7 June 2019 for the spring EPICS collaboration meeting. (Click to view larger version...)
Developers and managers from many user sites around the world converged on ITER from 3 to 7 June 2019 for the spring EPICS collaboration meeting.
EPICS software is used to create distribute soft real-time control systems for scientific instruments such as particle accelerators, telescopes, experiment beam lines, and other large scientific instruments.

Two times a year, EPICS collaboration meetings offer developers and managers from the various sites the opportunity to report progress, share experience and discuss ideas for future development. Users are given the chance to see what is being done at other laboratories, and to review the specifications for new tools or enhancements in order to maximize their usefulness to the entire community and avoid duplication of effort.  Hosted by an institute using EPICS—and alternating between Europe, the United States and the Asian-Pacific region—meetings usually last five days and include workshops on special topics and training sessions.

Last week, for the first time in 10 years, it was again ITER's turn to host an EPICS collaboration meeting. Just over 100 participants from 43 institutions converged on ITER to convert the ITER amphitheatre into an arena for the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

From more than 60 presentations during the main meeting, participants took home notes full of new ideas and possible solutions for their systems. Anders Wallander, head of the ITER Control System Division, points out the advantages: "ITER is an active participant in the EPICS collaboration and the face-to-face collaboration meetings provide an opportunity to build relations and align development and testing efforts, with associated cost savings for all parties."

The Control System Division used the opportunity to show the EPICS community how ITER plans to use the latest developments. A guided tour of the construction site and demonstrations of the virtual reality room completed the meeting program. As Anders Wallander puts it: "By hosting the EPICS collaboration meeting, ITER benefits from raising the awareness of the project in the worldwide control community and may attract talented future staff."


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