On Tuesday the 19th of February 2019, Chromodynamics CEO Wouter Vijvers (left) signed an agreement to co-develop the Visible Spectroscopy Reference System (VSRS) for the international tokamak fusion reactor ITER.
Chromodynamics will be part of a consortium of companies and institutions, coordinated by the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research TNO, that will jointly develop the system. The consortium is completed by Active Space Technologies (AST) and the Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER). At the signing ceremony, ITER was represented by Director-General Bernard Bigot (third from the left), TNO by Director of Space & Scientific Instrumentation Kees Buijsrogge (second), and Active Space by co-founder Ricardo Patricio (right). During the signing ceremony, Head of the Diagnostics Division Dr. Michael Walsh stressed the importance of the instrument, noting that “the VSRS may well become the very first instrument of ITER to see light emitted by the plasma”. The Director-General expressed his satisfaction with the team that was formed to develop this critical instrument for ITER.
The VSRS will monitor the purity of the hot fusion plasma by analysing the visible light emitted by the magnetically confined plasma. This is important both for scientific purposes, as well as for basic machine control. In particular, it will serve as an early warning system for the heating power injected into the machine not being fully absorbed by the plasma. If the plasma becomes too transparent, the high-power heating beams risk damaging the reactor wall opposite to their point-of-entry. The cooperation agreement that was signed lays out the first phase of the multi-year development program that runs to the point of a Final Design Review. This FDR is to be followed by manufacturing and commissioning phases. The VSRS is intended to be ready for the first ITER plasma in December 2025.
For more information, click here to see the ITER Newsline.