Journal article

Tokamak equilibrium reconstruction code LIUQE and its real time implementation

Equilibrium reconstruction consists in identifying, from experimental measurements, a distribution of the plasma current density that satisfies the pressure balance constraint. The LIUQE code adopts a computationally efficient method to solve this problem, based on an iterative solution of the Poisson equation coupled with a linear parametrisation of the plasma current density. This algorithm is unstable against vertical gross motion of the plasma column for elongated shapes and its application to highly shaped plasmas on TCV requires a particular treatment of this instability. TCV's continuous vacuum vessel has a low resistance designed to enhance passive stabilisation of the vertical position. The eddy currents in the vacuum vessel have a sizeable influence on the equilibrium reconstruction and must be taken into account. A real time version of LIUQE has been implemented on TCV's distributed digital control system with a cycle time shorter than 200 μs for a full spatial grid of 28 by 65, using all 133 experimental measurements and including the flux surface average of quantities necessary for the real time solution of 1.5 D transport equations. This performance was achieved through a thoughtful choice of numerical methods and code optimisation techniques at every step of the algorithm, and was coded in Matlab and Simulink for the off-line and real time version respectively.

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