Image processing for Plasma Facing Components protection

Type Start End
European Jan 2019 Dec 2022
Responsible URL
Josep R. Casas EUROfusion website


EUROfusion ITER Physics WP S1: Preparation and Exploitation of W7-X Campaigns, P.2: Specific diagnostics, software and component reparation (Tasks S1.P2.T6-T7)


This project is the result of a research collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) located in Greifswald (Germany) within the H2020 EUROfusion project where UPC is a LTP of CIEMAT.

Wendelstein 7-X is the largest prototype of a fusion reactor of the "Stellarator" family (see this piece of news for general information, and this spectacular 360º Virtual Tour Panorama of W7-X, where a mouse click leads you right into the plasma vessel or the experimentation hall and other facilities) . The first operation phase (OP1) started in 2017, and IPP offers now a large amount of the resulting data (videos, images) for research.

View of the Weldenstein 7-X coil System
Fig.1  View of the Weldenstein 7-X coil System

The collaboration of GPI in this project is included in EUROfusion WPS1. The main purpose of WPS1 is the preparation, execution and exploitation of Wendelstein 7-X campaigns. In particular, the Project Project Management Plan 2019/20, foresees GPI contribution within Key milestone 1.3 in order to prepare and develop control and data acquisition systems and diagnostics addressing objectives for safe steady-state operation and employ surveillance diagnostics for the detection of wall loads, hot spots. The relevant objectives are grouped within task S1.P2.T6 Image Processing and Object Detection:

  • S1.P2.T6 (a) Develop image processing and machine learning tools for detection, tracking and classification of thermal events on the Plasma Facing Components or PFCs (strike-lines, leading edges, hot spots, surface layers, delaminations, reflections),  from thermal images that observe the plasma during operation.
    Fig.2a  Thermal events on PFCs (IR image)                      Fig.2b  Animation sequence of a strike line
  • S1.P2.T6 (b) Develop a real-time NN-based heat flux THEODOR estimation for the real-time image analysis system for PFC protection.
  • S1.P2.T6 (c) Develop image processing tools for video and Ha data analysis for automatic plasma events detection and their correlation with the magnetic topology. In this case, a different set of 10 visible camera sensors (EDICAMs @400fps) have observed anomalies in the plasma behavior that IPP has the challenge to study, classify and detect in the 50h of footage they have available. A first ontology of anomalies is: falling debris, MARVEs, Pellets, UFOs and hotspots.

    Fig. 3 Anomaly in the reactor core: falling debris (EDICAM)

The results of the collaboration are to be reported the end of 2019 (S1.P.2.D6.1: Interim report on S1.P.2.T6) and 2020 (S1.P.2.D6.2: Final report S1.P.2.T6).

Internal reports resulting from the students who participate in the collaboration are as follows:

Other contributors:

  • Ivan Caminal, technical support (Apr-Nov 2019)


Puig-Sitjes A, Jakubowski M, Naujoks D, Gao Y, Drewelow P, Niemann H, Felinger J, Casas J, Salembier P, Clemente R. Real-time detection of overloads on the plasma-facing components of Wendelstein 7-X. Applied sciences (Basel). 2021 ;11(24).
Puig-Sitjes A, Casas J, Salembier P, Vizcarro D, Clemente R, Jakubowski M, Gao Y, Team W7-X. Spatio-temporal Detection and Tracking of Thermal Events on the Plasma Facing Components of Wendelstein 7-X. In: 4th IAEA Technical Meeting on Fusion Data Processing, Validation and Analysis. 4th IAEA Technical Meeting on Fusion Data Processing, Validation and Analysis. Shanghai (online):; 2021.
Puig-Sitjes A, Jakubowski M, Fellinger J, Drewelow P, Gao Y, Niemann H, Sunn-Pedersen T, König R, Naujoks D, Winter A, et al. Strategy for the real-time detection of thermal events on the plasma facing components of Wendelstein 7-X. In: 31st Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT2020). 31st Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT2020). Dubrovnik, Croatia; 2020.