Control of Fusion Plasmas
The future operation of the world's largest nuclear fusion reactor ITER in France requires significant advances in control methods for fusion plasmas. Our main orientation is on the control of magneto-hydrodynamic instabilities and the control of distribution of the current density in the plasma, using new sensor designs, system identification and control oriented modelling. Innovative control solutions for so-called MHD instabilities have been developed and tested in the TEXTOR (Jülich, Germany) and TCV (Lausanne, Switzerland) experimental fusion devices. The unique properties of the control-oriented plasma simulation code RAPTOR has allowed applications in state reconstruction, prediction and feedback controller design for the plasma current density profiles. A Veni grant has been gained for this work. An analysis method has been developed to determine the plasma boundaries from optical images, and the method has been applied in offline analysis of the boundaries of JET and MAST plasmas. Extended by spectroscopic data, the method can resolve the plasma equilibrium. In addition, a two-camera hyper-spectral imaging system has been developed and applied to plasma position control atTCV. The imaging is also expected to be applied to real-time observation of the state of the diverted plasma for exhaust control. Next to the plasma control activity, funding for 2 Goal Oriented Trainees (GOT-ITER) has been obtained in competition to work on the remote maintenance of ITER subsystems. Here, a strong link exists with the haptics activities within the Robotics subprogramme.