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A small, novel, remote in-vessel inspection system for the Alcator C-Mod tokamak

Fusion Engineering and Design
DOI: 10.1016/j.fusengdes.2014.08.003
  • Inspection
  • Tomakak
  • Remote Handling
  • Cameras
  • Alcator C-Mod
  • Design
  • Engineering


Abstract A small robust system has been constructed for in-situ visual inspection of the Alcator C-Mod tokamak. The system consists of a small, light, wide-angle high definition camera and LED package housed in a nacelle on the end of thin, rigid, 3.5m long support pole. The nacelle has two actuated degrees of freedom allowing the camera to observe nearly 4π steradians. The support pole has a specific slight curve that allows it to pass to either side of the center column of the tokamak to observe the entirety of the vessel interior, while still fitting through the small aspect ratio Alcator C-Mod vacuum port structure. The support pole and camera can enter the vessel through any horizontal vacuum port with an inner diameter greater than 4cm, thus a dedicated port is not required. The inspection is typically undertaken during maintenance periods when the vessel is filled with a noble gas near atmospheric pressure thus minimizing the influx of water vapor and the concomitant loss of wall conditioning. The system is operated manually, producing photos and video which are reviewed in near real-time. Nearly the entire vessel, including the plasma facing components, can be carefully inspected in 3–5h. The system provides improved characterization of the interior components and surfaces of the tokamak with a modest engineering and operational effort. Information gathered from the system has identified damage to plasma facing components that were interfering with tokamak operation, as well as damage to mechanical components which were redesigned during the remainder of the campaign, thereby enhancing program planning.

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