Image processing with cellular nonlinear networks implemented on field-programmable gate arrays for real-time applications in nuclear fusion

S. Palazzo, A. Murari, G. Vagliasindi, P. Arena, D. Mazon, A. De Maack

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)


In the past years cameras have become increasingly common tools in scientific applications. They are now quite systematically used in magnetic confinement fusion, to the point that infrared imaging is starting to be used systematically for real-time machine protection in major devices. However, in order to guarantee that the control system can always react rapidly in case of critical situations, the time required for the processing of the images must be as predictable as possible. The approach described in this paper combines the new computational paradigm of cellular nonlinear networks (CNNs) with field-programmable gate arrays and has been tested in an application for the detection of hot spots on the plasma facing components in JET. The developed system is able to perform real-time hot spot recognition, by processing the image stream captured by JET wide angle infrared camera, with the guarantee that computational time is constant and deterministic. The statistical results obtained from a quite extensive set of examples show that this solution approximates very well an ad hoc serial software algorithm, with no false or missed alarms and an almost perfect overlapping of alarm intervals. The computational time can be reduced to a millisecond time scale for 8 bit 496×560 -sized images. Moreover, in our implementation, the computational time, besides being deterministic, is practically independent of the number of iterations performed by the CNN-unlike software CNN implementations. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number083505
Pages (from-to)-
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation

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