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International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor

Three energy sources are potentially capable of reducing the world's fossil fuel dependence: Fission, Fusion and Solar Energy.

  • In fission a neutron strikes the nucleus of a heavy element, such as uranium - splitting it form lighter elements and releasing heat energy.
  • In fusion, nuclei of light elements, such as hydrogen are fused to make heavier elements. Fusion releases about four times more energy for a given mass of fuel than does fission.

To make fusion happen, the atoms of hydrogen must be heated to very high temperatures (100 million degrees) so they are ionized (forming plasma) and have sufficiently high energy to fuse, and then held together i.e. confined long enough for fusion occur.

The reactor vessel of the experimental fusion reactor build under the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project requires immediate human monitoring for intactness and quality of the reactor wall's surface, as well as means for observation during operation in an emergency situation.

Current works include control, image forming and enhancing tasks for an experimental prototype vision system (IVVS). The system is like a big endoscope (in full scale 15 m long) which rotates around taking picture stripes when illuminated by laser. The panoramic picture about the reactor first wall is formed by fusing these picture elements. Our topic concentration in this internationally networked project is to assure a totally automated image capturing and evaluating system. A main problem is due to the fact that the original imaging process can produce strongly vibrated images because of mechanical disturbances affecting on the probe. A unique vibration cancellation algorithm has been developed for just using the information containing in the picture. Past works were connected to the robotic remote handling operations of over 100 tons blanket segments within millimeter precision via in-situ measuring and combined off-line graphical and structural modeling of the objects.