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Iffeldorf, Germany

Rapson C.J.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Carvalho P.,University of Lisbon | Luddecke K.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | Neto A.C.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | And 4 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2014

Fusion experiments place high demands on real-time control systems. Within the fusion community two modern framework-based software architectures have emerged as powerful tools for developing algorithms for real-time control of complex systems while maintaining the flexibility required when operating a physics experiment. The two frameworks are known as DCS (Discharge Control System), from ASDEX Upgrade and MARTe (Multithreaded Application Real-Time executor), originally from JET. Based on the success of DCS and MARTe, ITER has chosen to develop a framework architecture for its Plasma Control System which will adopt major design concepts from both the existing frameworks. This paper describes a coupling of the two existing frameworks, which was undertaken to explore the degree of similarity and compliance between the concepts, and to extend their capabilities. DCS and MARTe operate in parallel with synchronised state machines and a common message logger. Configuration data is exchanged before the real-time phase. During the real-time phase, structured data is exchanged via shared memory and an existing DCS algorithm is replicated within MARTe. The coupling tests the flexibility and identifies the respective strengths of the two frameworks, providing a well-informed basis on which to move forward and design a new ITER real-time framework. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Treutterer W.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Cole R.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | Luddecke K.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | Neu G.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | And 4 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2014

ASDEX Upgrade is a fusion experiment with a size and complexity to allow extrapolation of technical and physical conditions and requirements to devices like ITER and even beyond. In addressing advanced physics topics it makes extensive use of sophisticated real-time control methods. It comprises real-time diagnostic integration, dynamically adaptable multivariable feedback schemes, actuator management including load distribution schemes and a powerful monitoring and pulse supervision concept based on segment scheduling and exception handling. The Discharge Control System (DCS) supplies all this functionality on base of a modular software framework architecture designed for real-time operation. It provides system-wide services like workflow management, logging and archiving, self-monitoring and inter-process communication on Linux, VxWorks and Solaris operating systems. By default DCS supports distributed computing, and a communication layer allows multi-directional signal transfer and data-driven process synchronisation over shared memory as well as over a number of real-time networks. The entire system is built following the same common design concept combining a rich set of re-usable generic but highly customisable components with a configuration-driven component deployment method. We will give an overview on the architectural concepts as well as on the outstanding capabilities of DCS in the domains of inter-process communication, generic feedback control and pulse supervision. In each of these domains, DCS has contributed important ideas and methods to the on-going design of the ITER plasma control system. We will identify and describe these essential features and illustrate them with examples from ASDEX Upgrade operation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Behler K.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Blank H.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Eixenberger H.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Fitzek M.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | And 3 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2012

The SIO DAQ concept used at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion experiment features data acquisition from a modular front-end (a modular crate-and-interface-cards concept for analog and digital input and output) over standardized serial lines and via a serial input/output computer interface card (the SIO card) in real-time directly into the main memory of a host computer. Deployment of a series of diagnostics using SIO led to various solutions and configurations for the different requirements. Experience has been gained and lessons learned applying the SIO concept at its technical limits. Requirements for a further development of the SIO concept have been identified, and a performance improvement by a factor of 4-8 beyond its current limits seems achievable. An effort has been started to develop a SIO version 2 (SIO II) featuring upgraded serial links and a more powerful FPGA for merging and forwarding data streams to host computer memory. (Compatibility with the existing SIO (SIO I) front-end system has to be maintained.) This paper presents results achieved and experiences gained in the deployment of SIO I, the status of SIO II development (currently in the prototype phase), and projected enhancements and updates to existing implementations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Treutterer W.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Behler K.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Buhler A.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Cole R.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | And 8 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2011

In fusion research the ability to generate and sustain high performance fusion plasmas gains more and more importance. Optimal combinations of magnetic shape, temperature and density profiles as well as the confinement time are identified as advanced regimes. Safe operation in such regimes will be crucial for the success of ITER and later fusion reactors. The operational space, on the other hand, is characterized by nonlinear dependencies between plasma parameters. Various MHD limits must be avoided in order to minimize the risk of a disruption. Sophisticated feedback control schemes help to tackle this challenge. But these in turn require detailed information on plasma state in time to allow proper reaction. Control system and diagnostic systems therefore must establish a symbiotic relationship to carry out such schemes. Today, all major fusion devices implement such a concept. An implementation of such a concept with sustained integration is presented using the example of ASDEX Upgrade. It covers data communication via a real-time network, synchronization mechanisms for data-driven algorithm execution as well as operational aspects and exception handling for failure detection and recovery. A modular distributed software framework offers standardized user algorithm interfaces, automated workflow procedures and the application of various computer and network hardware components. Designed with a special focus on reliability, robustness and flexibility, it is a sound base for exploring ITER-relevant plasma regimes and control strategies. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Drube R.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Neu G.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Cole R.H.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | Luddecke K.,Unlimited Computer Systems GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2013

This paper describes the design, implementation, and operation of the Video Real-Time (VRT) diagnostic system of the ASDEX Upgrade plasma experiment and its integration with the ASDEX Upgrade Discharge Control System (DCS). Hot spots produced by heating systems erroneously or accidentally hitting the vessel walls, or from objects in the vessel reaching into the plasma outer border, show up as bright areas in the videos during and after the reaction. A system to prevent damage to the machine by allowing for intervention in a running discharge of the experiment was proposed and implemented. The VRT was implemented on a multi-core real-time Linux system. Up to 16 analog video channels (color and b/w) are acquired and multiple regions of interest (ROI) are processed on each video frame. Detected critical states can be used to initiate appropriate reactions - e.g. gracefully terminate the discharge. The system has been in routine operation since 2007. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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