Congratulations Jack!

Congratulations to Jack Lovell who successfully defended his thesis at viva on 28 Sept 2017. Jack is a Durham University student on the Fusion CDT and was supervised by Professor Ray Sharples and Professor Richard Myers. Jack is now working for ORNL based at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, and is continuing his work with the MAST-U bolometer system.

An abstract from Jack’s thesis is as follows:

Development of Smart, Compact Fusion Diagnostics using Field-Programmable Gate Arrays

Fusion research requires high quality diagnostics to understand the complex physical processes involved. Traditional analogue systems are complex, large and expensive, and expansion of diagnostic capabilities is often impossible without building a completely new system at considerable expense. Field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology can provide a solution to this problem. By implementing complex functionality and digital signal processing on an FPGA chip, diagnostic hardware can be greatly simplified and compacted. In this thesis we describe the enhancements of two diagnostics for the MAST-Upgrade tokamak using FPGA technology. Firstly, the design of the back end electronics for the new divertor bolometer is described. Results of tests of the new electronics at a number of sites, including lab-based testing and tokamak installations, are also presented. We demonstrate the correct functionality of the electronics and illustrate a number of important effects which must be taken into account when interpreting bolometer data on MAST-U. Secondly, we describe the new control and acquisition electronics developed for the MAST-U divertor Langmuir probe diagnostic. Much of the analogue control circuitry of the previous system has been upgraded to a digital implementation on an FPGA, which results in a significantly more compact and cost effective design. Given that MAST-Upgrade will feature around 850 Langmuir probes, these improvements are extremely important to keep the diagnostic manageable. Again, results are presented from the testing of the system at several sites, which both demonstrate the correct functionality of the new system and provide information on the diagnostic behaviour which needs to be accounted for when interpreting the probe data during MAST-U experiments.