Congratulations to Charlie Vincent, a Durham Fusion CDT student who successfully defended his thesis at viva in February 2021. Charlie’s thesis is entitled “FPGA Based Diagnostics for the Mega-Amp Spherical Tokamak Upgrade” and his supervisor is Professor Ray Sharples. An abstract from Charlie’s thesis is below.
Well done Charlie!
Terrestrial fusion power is a low carbon alternative to conventional power sources with reduced radioactive waste and nuclear proliferation concerns relative to fission power. The complexity of fusion research devices means that many high performance diagnostics are necessary to investigate the underlying physics of the environment. Field Programmable Gate Array technology provides a powerful and flexible option when designing bespoke instrumentation.
Presented in this work are three diagnostics for MAST-Upgrade, using a System-on-Chip with integrated FPGA and more classic computing components. The similar workflows have allowed development of three very different techniques for plasma diagnostics with the same knowledge base demonstrating the flexibility of FPGA based instrumentation. The integration of classical computing hardware within the chip package has also facilitated faster and simplified connectivity with wider computing systems.