SXR cameras and Magnetic probes

Like a laser toy

UKAEA, Oxford
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The Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST) is one of the most advanced fusion facilities in the World. I was the responsible of the SXR diagnostic maintenance and upgrade and the responsible for the maintenance and software development of the magnetic probes.

Project details:

  • Mechanical design: due to the interior design of the vessel, with physical obstacles (magnetic coils, power absorption tiles, etc.), particular attention was devoted to the lines of sight of the two cameras, which required special in-house developed software. The two multi-diode cameras integrated the existing horizontal one, to provide a full coverage of the vessel. 2 CAD drawers, 3 mechanical workers
  • Electronic and cabling: due to the specific requirements in terms of signal gain and bandwidth, the project was commissioned to private companies, and the winning bid was chosen for the quality assurance system of the company.
  • External purchase: part of the components were purchased through a call-for-bidders and quote analysis
  • In-vessel calibration: the beryllium filter applied to the camera, serves to select specific bremsstrahlung energy photons, making it impossible to align the camera once installed. Thanks to a new self-developed technique, the alignment was provided at low cost and within deadlines.
  • Energy calibration: for the SXR diagnostic, as well as for the magnetic probes, an absolute calibration was performed. 2 scientist, 2 technicians


  • A suit of routines were created in C++, IDL and matlab to provide real-time data, and post-processed statistical analysis of combined magnetic and radiation data.
  • The whole project was carried out in 1 year, and commissioned before deadline and within budget. The systems are in use and provide data for scientific international publications.