DIII-D Researchers Use Machine Learning to Steer Fusion Plasmas Near Operational Limits

DIII-D Researchers Use Machine Learning to Steer Fusion Plasmas Near Operational Limits

New technique allows sustaining fusion plasmas near peak performance in real time

Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility achieved a scientific first this month when they used machine learning calculations to automatically prevent fusion plasma disruptions in real time, while simultaneously optimizing the plasma for peak performance. The new experiments are the first of what they expect to be a wave of research in which machine learning–augmented controls could broaden the understanding of fusion plasmas. The work may also help deliver reliable, peak performance operation of future fusion reactors.