MDSplus yesterday, today and tomorrow

T. Fredian, J. Stillerman, G. Manduchi, A. Rigoni, K. Erickson, T. Schröder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


MDSplus is a data acquisition and analysis system used worldwide predominantly in the fusion research community. Development began 31 years ago by a collaboration of software developers who were charged with providing a data acquisition system for three new fusion experiments under construction: CMOD at MIT, ZTH at LANL and RFX at Padova, Italy. The design of MDSplus combined the functionality of MDS (MIT/Model Data System developed at MIT for the Alcator and Tara fusion experiments) with new features suggested by the developers from the other laboratories. The development of MDSplus used a RAD (rapid application development) approach before RAD became a mainstream methodology. MDSplus was implemented and ready for the initial operation of CMOD in 1991. Since that time, many other fusion facilities started using MDSplus for data acquisition and/or for exporting their data to other sites. Today MDSplus is still used around the world for fusion energy research, space exploration and other fields of science and technology. Work on MDSplus continues to enhance its capabilities, support more platforms, and improve its reliability. It is anticipated that MDSplus will continue to provide valuable tools for the fusion energy research community. This paper describes some of the history of the MDSplus software, the work that is currently underway, and the plans to enable MDSplus to continue to be available and supported long into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106 - 110
Number of pages5
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

Fredian, T., Stillerman, J., Manduchi, G., Rigoni, A., Erickson, K., & Schröder, T. (2018). MDSplus yesterday, today and tomorrow. Fusion Engineering and Design, 127, 106 - 110.