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Fusion Science and Technology
Finding fusion’s place
Fusion energy is attracting significant interest from governments and private capital markets. The deployment of fusion energy on a timeline that will affect climate change and offer another tool for energy security will require support from stakeholders, regulators, and policymakers around the world. Without broad support, fusion may fail to reach its potential as a “game-changing” technology to make a meaningful difference in addressing the twin challenges of climate change and geopolitical energy security.
The process of developing the necessary policy and regulatory support is already underway around the world. Leaders in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China, and elsewhere are engaging with the key issues and will lead the way in setting the foundation for a global fusion industry.
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.