Evolution not revolution in the TCV tokamak control and acquisition system
The original TCV control system was designed in the 1980s to be inherently network based in that all control operations were performed from X-windows terminals and the control computers were networked. Using VMS-VAX technology, the acquisition system (CAMAC) and control system (BITBUS) were connected to controllers situated in the machine bus of these machines that were linked homogeneously by the VMS 'cluster' technology. Although the computing power and network bandwidth have improved considerably recently, the data acquired has risen from ~10 to ~200 MB per plasma discharge from increasingly numerous and complex diagnostic and acquisition systems. The goal has thus been to evolve the control and acquisition systems to embrace new technologies whilst retaining the remote and automatic features. Changes are described in both the hardware and software, which leaves TCV in a state whose structure is coherent with its origins yet includes many new components. To control this increased complexity, a very general and symmetric software paradigm was developed, based on an efficient matrix capable interpreter that is part of the MdsPlus package. This Tree Data Interface (TDI) package has many of the Matlab/IDL capabilities together with the explicit capability of calling dynamic libraries directly. There is also a TDI TCP/IP server for a remote client to call these functions and obtain a reply. With the recent port of MdsPlus to many Unix flavours, WinXX and VMS, which features automatic machine binary format translation, communication between most computers at TCV can be performed over the same interface.
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Fusion Engineering and Design 56-57 (2001) pp. 1023-1028
Record Number: 200214422 / Last updated on: 2002-02-20
Original language: en
Available languages: en