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Home / Publications / Journals / Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / Pages 994-997

Introducing a Virtualization Technology for the FTU Plasma Control System

L. Fiasca, L. Boncagni, C. Centioli, F. Iannone, M. Panella, V. Vitale, L. Zaccarian

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / August 2009 / Pages 994-997

Plasma Engineering / Eighteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (Part 2)

The Feedback control system running at FTU has been recently improved by the adoption of an Object-Oriented model, obtaining many advantages regarding the software extensibility, re-usability and testing capabilities. This new structure has been ported into a virtual environment using the QEMU processor emulator, in order to simulate, as close as possible to the hardware level, the control system behavior during the real experiment. This new approach introduces the advantage of decreasing dramatically the risks related to coding errors and operating system bugs arising at runtime, whereas it still supports the real-time control features. Moreover, the Real Time Workshop fast controller prototyping interface eliminates the model-translation related problems thanks to its automatic C code generation tools. The entire project flow is now completed: using Simulink, it is possible to design the diagram implementing a new control law, then synthesize the controller library. At this point, we can transfer the new library to the virtual machine, simulate the plasma control experiment in an open-loop configuration, and finally compare the simulation results to those from the past experiments, for a consistency check. The proposed framework is remotely managed by a new Matlab interface. After a satisfying simulation/validation of the new control model, the module can be easily transferred to the control system andhooked up to the real experiment, where it can operate in closed-loop. In this paper, we illustrate the advantages of this new approach and report on some experimental tests where the actual experimental data is compared to the simulations provided by the above-mentioned virtual environment.

 
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