In a research environment, new processes for safe nuclear plant operation are tested and experimented, for example in concentrators for tokamak control. A tokamak is a toroidal (doughnut-shaped) magnetic plasma confinement device, the leading candidate for producing magnetic fusion energy. The tokamak is characterized by the use of the plasma current to generate the helical component of the magnetic field necessary for stable equilibria.
The computing heart in this application is a standard CompactPCI® single-board computer in single Euro card format and based on an Intel® Pentium® processor. To guarantee the required reliability on the hardware level, the control systems are installed redundantly. This means that each system consists of three independent single-board computer units, identically built and configured, controlling each other. An additional standard PC-MIP® mezzanine card is used to bring another four RS232 interfaces into the system.