Tree C Technology assists ITER Japan (QST) in Remote Handling challenges
The National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology of Japan (QST) and Advanced Technology Co. have granted Tree C Technology B.V. a contract to develop a structural simulator for the ITER Blanket Remote Handing System. This simulator is based on Tree C’s latest VR4Robots® technology.
ITER is an international project, which aims to prove the technical viability of fusion as an energy source. A total of 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest experimental fusion device (Tokamak) in southern France. Within the ITER project, QST, together with A-Tech, are responsible for the development of the Blanket Remote Handling system (BRHS). This system is used to remotely operate and manipulate the 4 to 9mT blanket modules as part of the regular maintenance procedures within the ITER fusion reactor.
The VR4Robots application is used to predict and compensate the static displacements of this sizeable remote handling system in order to obtain high accuracy in operating the equipment.
Compatible with ITER.Org requirements
Following a successful compatibility check with ITER Organisation’s requirements, Tree C’s latest version of the remote handling application, VR4Robots®, was put to work. VR4Robots® technology, has been successfully used for over a decade to prepare and handle maintenance shutdowns for ITER’s predecessor, the Joint European Torus (JET) in Culham, UK.
Physics Based VR4Robots model
The simulator displays the virtual model of the blanket manipulators and simulates its mechanical behavior, including the mechanical deformation of the manipulator and articulated rail, on which the manipulator robots move into the fusion reactor’s vacuum vessel. The physics-based VR model is calibrated with measurement data of the actual prototype manipulator. From the calibrated VR model, a large set of displacement data is obtained, which subsequently is used to train a Deep Learning model that will estimate and accurately compensate for the displacements of the BRHS.
The simulator is connected to QST’s / A-Tech’s control software, but can also be controlled in a standalone fashion for efficient evaluation of for instance Operation Sequence Descriptions.
Tree C is excited to extend its contribution to the fusion research program through this valued assignment from QST and A-Tech, with fusion energy being the potential and clean solution for future demands for electrical energy.
This project is a great opportunity for the Tree C team to demonstrate its skills in physics modelling of complex equipment for challenging simulations and remote handling tasks at a scientific level.
*image courtesy of QST