Introducing a vtrtualization technology for the ftu plasma control system

L. Fiasca, L. Boncagni, C. Centioli, F. Iannone, M. Panella, V. Vitale, L. Zacearian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Feedback control system running at FTU has been recently improved by the adoption of an ObjectOriented model, obtaining many advantages regarding the software extensibility, re-usability and testing capabilities. This new structure has been ported into a virtual environment using the QEMUprocessor emulator, in order to simulate, as close as possible to the hardware level, the control system behavior during the real experiment. This new approach introduces the advantage of decreasing dramatically the risks related to coding errors and operating system bugs arising at runtime, whereas it still supports the real-time control features. Moreover, the Real Time Workshop fast controller prototyping interface eliminates the model-translation related problems thanks to its automatic C code generation tools. The entire project flow is now completed: using Simulink, it is possible to design the diagram implementing a new control law, then synthesize the controller library. At this point, we can transfer the new library to the virtual machine, simulate the plasma control experiment in an open-loop configuration, and finally compare the simulation results to those from the past experiments, for a consistency check. The proposed framework is remotely managed by a new Matlab interface. After a satisfying simulation/validation of the new control model, the module can be easily transferred to the control system and hooked up to the real experiment, where it can operate in closed-loop. In this paper, we illustrate the advantages of this new approach and report on some experimental tests where the actual experimental data is compared to the simulations provided by the above-mentioned virtual environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994 - 997
Number of pages4
JournalFusion Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Fiasca, L., Boncagni, L., Centioli, C., Iannone, F., Panella, M., Vitale, V., & Zacearian, L. (2009). Introducing a vtrtualization technology for the ftu plasma control system. Fusion Science and Technology, 56(2), 994 - 997.