Seminar: Plasma Magnetic Control in Tokamaks

In the past week, a two session seminar was held at Instituto Superior Técnico, on December 5th and 7th. The topic presented by  Gianmaria De Tommasi (University of Naples Federico II)  was Harnessing the Sun's energy - Plasma Magnetic Control in Tokamaks. The seminars were hosted by Bernardo Brotas de Carvalho, and were attended by about 20 participants.

In tokamak experimental reactors, the magnetic control system is one of the main plasma control systems that is required since the very beginning, even before first plasma operations. Indeed, the magnetic control drives the current in the external poloidal circuits in order to first achieve breakdown conditions and, after plasma formation, to track the desired plasma current, shape and position. Furthermore, when the plasma poloidal cross-section is vertically elongated, the magnetic control takes care also of the vertical stabilization of the plasma column; therefore it is an essential system for operation.

In these two lectures a reference architecture for plasma magnetic control in tokamaks was presented, together with the techniques to design all the required control algorithms. Experimental results on existing machines and simulations for those ones currently under construction  (ITER, JT-60SA, DEMO, etc)  were also shown to prove the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The first lecture included a brief overview of systems & control theory was given, since these concepts were exploited afterwards to describe the details of the proposed control algorithms.