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Journal Article:

Author(s) :


McHarg, B. B., Casper, T. A., Davis, S., & Greenwood, D.

Date of Publication :


1999 Jan

Article Title :


Tools for remote collaboration on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility.

Journal Title :


Fusion Engineering and Design

Volume ID :



Pages(s) :



Abstract :


The DIII-D National Fusion Facility, a tokamak experiment funded by the US Department of Energy and operated by General Atomics (GA), is an international resource for plasma physics and fusion energy science research. This facility has a long history of collaborations with scientists from a wide variety of laboratories and universities from around the world. That collaboration has mostly been conducted by travel to and participation at the DIII-D site. Many new developments in the computing and technology fields are now facilitating collaboration from remote sites, thus reducing some of the needs to travel to the experiment. Some of these developments include higher speed wide area networks, powerful workstations connected within a distributed computing environment, network based audio/video capabilities, and the use of the world wide web. As the number of collaborators increases, the need for remote tools become important options to efficiently utilize the DIII-D facility. In the last two years a joint study by GA, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has introduced remote collaboration tools into the DIII- D environment and studied their effectiveness. These tools have included the use of audio/video for communication from the DIII-D control room, the broadcast of meetings, use of inter- process communication software to post events to the network during a tokamak shot, the creation of a DCE (distributed computing environment) cell for creating a common collaboratory environment, distributed use of computer cycles, remote data access, and remote display of results. This study also included sociological studies of how scientists in this environment work together as well as apart. As a result of these studies, there is now in place an automated distributed processing environment connected to the real-time experimental operations which can be joined by users at remote locations. This environment will allow further exploration of the technology and sociology of remote participation in the DIII-D program. Having the tools in place has already permitted remote participation in DIII-D experiments that would not have occurred otherwise, and thus the introduction of these tools has shown the initial feasibility of increasing and improving remote collaboration. (C) 1999 Published by Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.

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  Remote Experimental Environment
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