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Status of the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System at NSTX

Description: The NSTX achieved first plasma in 1999. The Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) is used to provide data-integration services for monitoring and control of all NSTX engineering subsystems. EPICS is a set of software initially developed at U.S. DOE laboratories. It is currently used and maintained through a global collaboration of hundreds of scientists and engineers. This paper will relate some of our experiences using and supporting the EPICS software. Topics include reliability and maintainability, lessons learned, recently added engineering subsystems, new EPICS software tools, and a review of our first EPICS software upgrade. Steps to modernize the technical infrastructure of EPICS to ensure effective support for NSTX will also be described.
Date: January 28, 2002
Creator: Sichta, P. & Dong, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Startup of the experimental physics industrial control system at NSTX

Description: The Experimental Physics Industrial Control System (EPICS) is a set of software which is being used as the basis of the National Spherical Torus Experiment's (NSTX) Process Control System, a major element of the NSTX's Central Instrumentation and Control System. EPICS is a result of a co-development effort started by several US Department of Energy National Laboratories. EPICS is actively supported through an international collaboration made up of government and industrial users. EPICS' good points include portability, scalability, and extensibility. A drawback for small experiments is that a wide range of software skills are necessary to get the software tools running for the process engineers. The authors' experience in designing, developing, operating, and maintaining NSTX's EPICS (system) will be reviewed.
Date: December 17, 1999
Creator: Sichta, P. & Dong, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The NSTX Central Instrumentation and Control System

Description: Earlier this year the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory achieved ''first plasma''. The Central Instrumentation and Control System was used to support plasma operations. Major elements of the system include the Process Control System, Plasma Control System, Network System, Data Acquisition System, and Synchronization System. This paper will focus on the Process Control System. Topics include the architecture, hardware interface, operator interface, data management, and system performance.
Date: December 17, 1999
Creator: Oliaro, G.; Dong, J.; Tindall, K. & Sichta, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of the NSTX Control System

Description: The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) is an innovative magnetic fusion device that was constructed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Columbia University, and the University of Washington at Seattle. Since achieving first plasma in 1999, the device has been used for fusion research through an international collaboration of more than twenty institutions. The NSTX is operated through a collection of control systems that encompass a wide range of technology, from hardwired relay controls to real-time control systems with giga-FLOPS of capability. This paper presents a broad introduction to the control systems used on NSTX, with an emphasis on the computing controls, data acquisition, and synchronization systems.
Date: December 3, 2001
Creator: Sichta, P.; Dong, J.; Oliaro, G. & Roney, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Control System for the NSTX Lithium Pellet Injector

Description: The Lithium Pellet Injector (LPI) is being developed for the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). The LPI will inject ''pellets'' of various composition into the plasma in order to study wall conditioning, edge impurity transport, liquid limiter simulations, and other areas of research. The control system for the NSTX LPI has incorporated widely used advanced technologies, such as LabVIEW and PCI bus I/O boards, to create a low-cost control system which is fully integrated into the NSTX computing environment. This paper will present the hardware and software design of the computer control system for the LPI.
Date: October 27, 2003
Creator: Sichta, P.; Dong, J.; Gernhardt, R.; Gettelfinger, G. & Kugel, H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Upgrade to the Tritium Remote Control and Monitoring System for TFTR D and D

Description: Since 1988, the Tritium Remote Control and Monitoring System (TRECAMS) has performed crucial functions in support of D-T [deuterium-tritium] operations of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Although plasma operations on TFTR were completed in 1997, the need for TRECAMS continued. During this period TRECAMS supported the TFTR tritium systems, the TFTR's Shutdown and Safing phase, and the TFTR Decontamination and Decommissioning (D and D) project. The most critical function of the TRECAMS in the post-TFTR era has been to provide a real-time indication of the airborne tritium levels in the tritium areas and the (HVAC) stacks. TRECAMS is a critical tool in conducting safe TFTR D and D tritium-line breaks and other tritium-related work activities. Beginning in 1998, the failure rate of the system's hardware sharply increased. Furthermore, the specialized knowledge required to maintain the original software and hardware was diminishing. It soon became apparent that a failure of the TRECAMS could significantly impact the TFTR D and D project's cost and schedule. To preclude this, the TRECAMS hardware and software was upgraded in the year 2000 to use modern components. This paper will describe that successful upgrade, including a review of the engineering processes and our operating experiences with the upgraded system.
Date: January 28, 2002
Creator: Sichta, P.; Oliaro, G. & Sengupta, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a Universal Networked Timer at NSTX

Description: A new Timing and Synchronization System component, the Universal Networked Timer (UNT), is under development at the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). The UNT is a second-generation multifunction timing device that emulates the timing functionality and electrical interfaces originally provided by various CAMAC modules. Using Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology, each of the UNT's eight channels can be dynamically programmed to emulate a specific CAMAC module type. The timer is compatible with the existing NSTX timing and synchronization system and will also support a (future) clock system with extended performance. To assist system designers and collaborators, software will be written to integrate the UNT with EPICS, MDSplus, and LabVIEW. This paper will describe the timing capabilities, hardware design, programming/software support, and the current status of the Universal Networked Timer at NSTX.
Date: September 23, 2005
Creator: Sichta, P.; Dong, J.; Lawson, J. E.; Oliaro, G. & Wertenbaker, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Upgrading the TFTR Transrex Power Supplies

Description: In order to provide improved and expanded experimental capabilities, the existing Transrex power supplies at PPPL are to be upgraded and modernized. Each of the 39 power supplies consists of two six pulse silicon controlled rectifier sections forming a twelve pulse power supply. The first modification is to split each supply into two independent six pulse supplies by replacing the existing obsolete twelve pulse firing generator with two commercially available six pulse firing generators. The second change replaces the existing control link with a faster system, with greater capacity, which will allow for independent control of all 78 power supply sections. The third change replaces the existing Computer Automated Measurement and Control (CAMAC) based fault detector with an Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) compatible unit, eliminating the obsolete CAMAC modules. Finally the remaining relay logic and interfaces to the "Hardwired Control System" will be replaces with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).
Date: May 29, 2009
Creator: Lawson, J. E.; Marsala, R.; Ramakrishnan, S.; Zhao, X. & Sichta, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lithium Pellet Injector Development for NSTX

Description: A pellet injector suitable for the injection of lithium and other low-Z pellets of varying mass into plasmas at precise velocities from 5 to 500 m/s is being developed for use on NSTX (National Spherical Torus Experiment). The ability to inject low-Z impurities will significantly expand NSTX experimental capability for a broad range of diagnostic and operational applications. The architecture employs a pellet-carrying cartridge propelled through a guide tube by deuterium gas. Abrupt deceleration of the cartridge at the end of the guide tube results in the pellet continuing along its intended path, thereby giving controlled reproducible velocities for a variety of pellets materials and a reduced gas load to the torus. The planned injector assembly has four hundred guide tubes contained in a rotating magazine with eight tubes provided for injection into plasmas. A PC-based control system is being developed as well and will be described elsewhere in these Proceedings. The development path and mechanical performance of the injector will be described.
Date: December 4, 2003
Creator: Gettelfinger, G.; Dong, J.; Gernhardt, R.; Kugel, H.; Sichta, P. & Timberlake, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conceptual design for the NSTX Central Instrumentation and Control System

Description: The design and construction phase for the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) is under way at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Operation is scheduled to begin on April 30, 1999. This paper describes the conceptual design for the NSTX Central Instrumentation and Control (I and C) System. Major elements of the Central I and C System include the Process Control System, Plasma Control System, Network System, Data Acquisition System, and Synchronization System to support the NSTX experimental device.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Bashore, D.; Oliaro, G. Roney, P.; Sichta, P. & Tindall, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supersonic gas injector for plasma fueling

Description: A supersonic gas injector (SGI) has been developed for fueling and diagnostic applications on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). It is comprised of a graphite converging-diverging Laval nozzle and a commercial piezoelectric gas valve mounted on a movable probe at a low field side midplane port location. Also mounted on the probe is a diagnostic package: a Langmuir probe, two thermocouples and five pickup coils for measuring toroidal, radial, vertical magnetic field components and magnetic fluctuations at the location of the SGI tip. The SGI flow rate is up to 4 x 10{sup 21} particles/s, comparable to conventional NSTX gas injectors. The nozzle operates in a pulsed regime at room temperature and a reservoir gas pressure up to 0.33 MPa. The deuterium jet Mach number of about 4, and the divergence half-angle of 5{sup o}-25{sup o} have been measured in laboratory experiments simulating NSTX environment. In initial NSTX experiments reliable operation of the SGI and all mounted diagnostics at distances 1-20 cm from the plasma separatrix has been demonstrated. The SGI has been used for fueling of ohmic and 2-4 MW NBI heated L- and H-mode plasmas. Fueling efficiency in the range 0.1-0.3 has been obtained from the plasma electron inventory analysis.
Date: September 30, 2005
Creator: Soukhanovskii, V A; Kugel, H W; Kaita, R; Roquemore, A L; Bell, M; Blanchard, W et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multiple track Doppler-shift spectroscopy system for TFTR neutral beam injectors

Description: A Doppler-shift spectroscopy system has been installed on the TFTR neutral beam injection system to measure species composition during both conditioning and injection pulses. Two intensified vidicon detectors and two spectrometers are utilized in a system capable of resolving data from up to twelve ion sources simultaneously. By imaging the light from six ion sources onto one detector, a cost-effective system has been achieved. Fiber optics are used to locate the diagnostic in an area remote from the hazards of the tokamak test cell allowing continuous access, and eliminating the need for radiation shielding of electronic components. Automatic hardware arming and interactive data analysis allow beam composition to be computed between tokamak shots for use in analyzing plasma heating experiments. Measurements have been made using lines of sight into both the neutralizer and the drift duct. Analysis of the data from the drift duct is both simpler and more accurate since only neutral particles are present in the beam at this location. Comparison of the data taken at these two locations reveals the presence of partially accelerated particles possessing an estimated 1/e half-angle divergence of 15/sup 0/ and accounting for up to 30% of the extracted power.
Date: September 1, 1986
Creator: Kamperschroer, J.H.; Kugel, H.W.; Reale, M.A.; Hayes, S.L.; Johnson, G.A.; Lowrance, J.L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TFTR (Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor) neutral beam injected power measurement

Description: Energy flow within TFTR neutral beamlines is measured with a waterfall calorimetry system capable of simultaneously measuring the energy deposited within four heating beamlines (three ion sources each), or of measuring the energy deposited in a separate neutral beam test stand. Of the energy extracted from the ion source in the well instrumented test stand, 99.5 +- 3.5% can be accounted for. When the ion deflection magnet is energized, however, 6.5% of the extracted energy is lost. This loss is attributed to a spray of devious particles onto unmonitored surfaces. A 30% discrepancy is also observed between energy measurements on the internal beamline calorimeter and energy measurements on a calorimeter located in the test stand target chamber. Particle reflection from the flat plate calorimeter in the target chamber, which the incident beam strikes at a near-grazing angle of 12/degree/, is the primary loss of this energy. A slight improvement in energy accountability is observed as the beam pulse length is increased. This improvement is attributed to systematic error in the sensitivity of the energy measurement to small fluctuations on the supply water temperature. An overall accuracy of 15% is estimated for the total power injected into TFTR. Contributions to this error are uncertainties in the beam neutralization efficiency, reionization and beam scrape-off in the drift duct, and fluctuations in the temperature of the supply water. 28 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab.
Date: May 1, 1989
Creator: Kamperschroer, J.H.; Grisham, L.R.; Dudek, L.E.; Gammel, G.M.; Johnson, G.A.; Kugel, H.W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) Research Program and Progress Towards High Beta, Long Pulse Operating Scenarios

Description: A major research goal of the National Spherical Torus Experiment is establishing long-pulse, high-beta, high-confinement operation and its physics basis. This research has been enabled by facility capabilities developed over the last two years, including neutral-beam (up to 7 MW) and high-harmonic fast-wave heating (up to 6 MW), toroidal fields up to 6 kG, plasma currents up to 1.5 MA, flexible shape control, and wall preparation techniques. These capabilities have enabled the generation of plasmas with <beta {sub T}> up to 35%. Normalized beta values often exceed the no wall limit, and studies suggest that passive wall mode stabilization is enabling this for broad pressure profiles characteristic of H-mode plasmas. The viability of long, high bootstrap-current fraction operations has been established for ELMing H-mode plasmas with toroidal beta values in excess of 15% and sustained for several current relaxation times. Improvements in wall conditioning and fueling are likely contributing to a reduction in H-mode power thresholds. Electron thermal conduction is the dominant thermal loss channel in auxiliary-heated plasmas examined thus far. High-harmonic fast-wave (HHFW) effectively heats electrons, and its acceleration of fast beam ions has been observed. Evidence for HHFW current drive is by comparing of the loop voltage evolution in plasmas with matched density and temperature profiles but varying phases of launched HHFW waves. A peak heat flux of 10 MW/m superscript ''2'' has been measured in the H-mode, with large asymmetries in the power deposition being observed between the inner and outer strike points. Noninductive plasma start-up studies have focused on coaxial helicity injection. With this technique, toroidal currents up to 400 kA have been driven, and studies to assess flux closure and coupling to other current-drive techniques have begun.
Date: October 15, 2002
Creator: Synakowski, E. J.; Bell, M. G.; Bell, R. E.; Bigelow, T.; Bitter, M.; Blanchard, W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress Towards High Performance, Steady-state Spherical Torus

Description: Research on the Spherical Torus (or Spherical Tokamak) is being pursued to explore the scientific benefits of modifying the field line structure from that in more moderate aspect-ratio devices, such as the conventional tokamak. The Spherical Tours (ST) experiments are being conducted in various U.S. research facilities including the MA-class National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at Princeton, and three medium-size ST research facilities: Pegasus at University of Wisconsin, HIT-II at University of Washington, and CDX-U at Princeton. In the context of the fusion energy development path being formulated in the U.S., an ST-based Component Test Facility (CTF) and, ultimately a Demo device, are being discussed. For these, it is essential to develop high-performance, steady-state operational scenarios. The relevant scientific issues are energy confinement, MHD stability at high beta (B), noninductive sustainment, ohmic-solenoid-free start-up, and power and particle handling. In the confinement area, the NSTX experiments have shown that the confinement can be up to 50% better than the ITER-98-pby2 H-mode scaling, consistent with the requirements for an ST-based CTF and Demo. In NSTX, CTF-relevant average toroidal beta values bT of up to 35% with the near unity central betaT have been obtained. NSTX will be exploring advanced regimes where bT up to 40% can be sustained through active stabilization of resistive wall modes. To date, the most successful technique for noninductive sustainment in NSTX is the high beta-poloidal regime, where discharges with a high noninductive fraction ({approx}60% bootstrap current + neutral-beam-injected current drive) were sustained over the resistive skin time. Research on radio-frequency-based heating and current drive utilizing HHFW (High Harmonic Fast Wave) and EBW (Electron Bernstein Wave) is also pursued on NSTX, Pegasus, and CDX-U. For noninductive start-up, the Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI), developed in HIT/HIT-II, has been adopted on NSTX to test the method up to Ip {approx} ...
Date: October 2, 2003
Creator: Ono, M.; Bell, M.G.; Bell, R.E.; Bigelow, T.; Bitter, M.; Blanchard, W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status and Plans for the National Spherical Torus Experimental Research Facility

Description: An overview of the research capabilities and the future plans on the MA-class National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at Princeton is presented. NSTX research is exploring the scientific benefits of modifying the field line structure from that in more conventional aspect ratio devices, such as the tokamak. The relevant scientific issues pursued on NSTX include energy confinement, MHD stability at high beta, non-inductive sustainment, solenoid-free start-up, and power and particle handling. In support of the NSTX research goal, research tools are being developed by the NSTX team. In the context of the fusion energy development path being formulated in the US, an ST-based Component Test Facility (CTF) and, ultimately a high beta Demo device based on the ST, are being considered. For these, it is essential to develop high performance (high beta and high confinement), steady-state (non-inductively driven) ST operational scenarios and an efficient solenoid-free start-up concept. We will also briefly describe the Next-Step-ST (NSST) device being designed to address these issues in fusion-relevant plasma conditions.
Date: July 27, 2005
Creator: Columbia University
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department