Optical Sensors for ITER Fusion Experiment

A consortium composed of Smartec (a RocTest company) and HBM FiberSensing signed the phase II of ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) contract for the supply of fiber optic sensing systems to be installed on the future Tokamak Fusion Reactor, which is being built in Cadarache, France.

This is one of the largest single orders ever received at FiberSensing, emphasizing the growing importance and market chances for fiberoptic solutions.

Both companies won the ITER tender concerning the qualification and supply of optical sensing systems, based on FBG (Fiber Bragg Grating) technology and Fabry-Perot interferometers, to measure strain, displacement and temperature in the cryogenic environment found in the ITER magnets.

The ITER project for fusion is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims at developing a new, cleaner, sustainable source of energy, by producing commercial energy from fusion - the process that occurs at the core of the Sun.

The companies will provide strain, displacement and temperature optical sensors to be installed on coils and on different mechanical structures. The first phase of the work included the adaptation and qualification of sensors, measurement units and software for the particular constraints of the ITER superconducting magnets. The second phase consists of series production, delivery and installation of the sensing systems. In total, the two contracts foresee the delivery of approximately 900 sensors and the related data acquisition systems, as well as complementary accessories such as cables and software.

HBM FiberSensing and Smartec are confident that the sensors qualified in this program will match other applications at ITER and at other customers where measurements in cryogenic and high-radiation environments are required.

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