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Fusion Science and Technology
A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Roman Rozenblat, Egemen Kolemen, Florian M. Laggner, Christopher Freeman, Greg Tchilinguirian, Paul Sichta, Gretchen Zimmer
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 75 | Number 8 | November 2019 | Pages 835-840
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1658037
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The Thomson scattering (TS) diagnostic on the National Spherical Tokamak eXperiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) has been an essential system for many operational campaigns due to its function of measuring plasma electron density and temperature. Constructive feedback to improve the next plasma discharge, however, has been limited because of in-between shots analysis. Plasma control, therefore, desires a diagnostic system that is real-time capable. This contribution presents the development of software that demonstrates the feasibility of a real-time TS diagnostic system for NSTX-U. The developed software is able to evaluate the electron temperature and density within 2.5 ms.
The overall system requirement is specified by a 60-Hz timing cycle, which is driven by the TS laser pulse rate. The real-time software processes the peak amplitudes of the detected photons, evaluates the electron temperature and density, and then outputs them to an analog output card that is used to interface with the NSTX-U control. The real-time software is implemented in an object-oriented architecture using C++11. C++11 software components include Abstract class, Atomic data types for synchronization, and a Hash data structure. The software application makes use of multiple threads that run concurrently: a thread to acquire the photon peak amplitude and feed a circular buffer, threads to evaluate the electron density and temperatures, and a thread that supplies corresponding output voltages and feeds the output card.
In summary, the new real-time TS system has been proven to meet the 60-Hz system requirement. For this reason, the software implementation was deemed successful. In future NSTX-U campaigns, this diagnostic will be a great asset enabling real-time plasma density and temperature control.