Customer profileThe Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research (Institut de Recherche sur la Fusion par confinement Magnétique, IRFM) is one of the 15 Institutes that make up the Fundamental Research Division in the CEA (Direction de la Recherche Fondamentale, DRF). For almost 60 years, its responsibility has been to carry out research on thermonuclear magnetically-confined fusion at the CEA in association with the Euratom Fusion Programme. To fulfill its missions, IRFM gathers three departments (and within them, groups), with various objectives expanding from engineering to physics to platform operation.
- Develop an application to control an AIA (artificial inspection arm), which is a new robot created by CEA and operated inside a TOKAMAK.
- Control the robot in real time: visualize the received data, calculate and send the orders required by the user, avoid collisions inside the TOKAMAK.
- Work with different kinds of sensors inside and outside the robot and calibrate the robot’s position.
- In this project Open CASCADE cooperated with Energid Technologies (USA) and reused their Actin software to control the robot. New Actin plugins were created for specific project needs: GUI and hardware connection.
- CEA and their customers use different robots and TOKAMAK models. Therefore, a flexible configuration was prepared to quickly setup the properties of the manipulated AIA.
- A multi-threaded solution was prepared to speed up the communication with several controllers using dedicated channels via TCP/IP protocol.
- AIA manipulation tests were performed at CEA Cadarache scientific research center and at the Chinese Institute of Plasma Physics in Hefei. Open CASCADE successfully cooperated with CEA engineers to connect different kinds of hardware with different characteristics of communication protocols.
- By request of CEA, Open CASCADE successfully communicated with the project participants from France, USA, India and China in order to specify the demands and solutions implemented in the application.
- Open CASCADE development team has implemented the plugins and simulation application (to check functionality without hardware connection) in the environment of Actin software (initially developed by Energid Technologies for the robotics area).
- CEA engineers will use the newly developed application to control and operate their robot hardware.
- Open CASCADE and Energid can reuse the experience and practice of working with this development kit in the future to extend the AIA Supervisor and create solutions for other customers who design robots and similar hardware.
- CEA has plans to use the same kind of hardware and software in other places in China and France in the coming years. This will require the minimum of modifications and extensions of the application because of its highly stabile and flexible core functionality.<.li>