“I wanted such a tool to exist!” – after two years of work at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), Anthony Shaw was keen to browse through the pulse data at the Joint European Torus (JET) just as conveniently as he can browse through data on the internet. Together with Alex Meakins and Matthew Carr, the group developed a website which provides information about every pulse that has been fired in JET’s vessel.

The main page enables the user to search through pulse meta-data to narrow down the 90,000 JET pulses to a more manageable subset. If the user then clicks on one entry they will find the detailed pulse data including, for instance, a plasma equilibrium reconstruction and some overview plots. The Dashboard also includes the names of the personnel involved on the day, along with pre-and post-pulse comments, experiment names and some high-level numerics.

Complements current tools

“The Dashboard is seen as a ‘breadth’ tool to some of our existing ‘depth’ tools” – says Anthony. A large proportion of the data analysis tools used at JET are designed to delve deep into the specific physics data of a single pulse to really analyse what is going on. The Dashboard, conversely, is designed to represent a broad overview of many pulses in a way that is easy to browse and search, thus allowing users to pinpoint which pulses to analyse in depth. This has the potential to save the researchers a lot of time.

A shared solution

This is not unique to JET; Matthew encountered the sameproblem with the Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST) – “MAST also has a large amount of data which can be difficult to navigate for new users”. He developed an early prototype for MAST which was then shared with and expanded upon by the JET team. Since then, they have added new features which are flowing back to the MAST group. “By exchanging developments, we have been able to advance both platforms very rapidly”, says Alex proudly.

Even more powerful

Alex, Anthony and Matthew now meet with stakeholders every quarter in order to improve their site. And the enhancements are ongoing. Currently, they are exploring which additional data might be useful to add to the page. Culham scientists are happy with the Dashboard – Physicist Michele Romanelli looks forward: “Including physics parameters in future searches will make this tool even morepowerful”. Right now, the homepage is only accessible if the user’s computer is logged into Culham’s network. But this is about to change. The three researchers are working on a login based solution to make the data accessible to scientists beyond Culham.