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Allessandro Cianciulli - MSc thesis at IPFN

Summarizing in one page what the experience that I lived in Lisbon means to me is very complicated. Before I start, I want to thank the support of FuseNet because through them I have been able to work for 5 months at the “Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear (IPFN, Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion)” the research unit of Instituto Superior Técnico(IST) in Lisbon, where I found women and men very well-trained and united. From the first day, they welcomed me in a warm way as in a small family; they have always shown themselves to be prepared and available to my questions, but most of all they showed me caring and will to socialize. The environment was really stimulating and interesting and it pushed me to work at my best for my thesis work.

With my local supervisors I studied the problems of real-time diagnostics and control related to Tokamak machines, in particular in AC (alternating plasma current) regime, as I had the opportunity to work with the ISTTok tokamak which works in AC mode. I have studied and implemented algorithms for the reconstruction of the plasma current centroid position in environments that I had never studied during my studies, in particular in Python to find the best reconstruction algorithm and in MARTe (Multi-threaded Application Real-Time executor) I have implemented their real-time version. Furthermore, an improvement of the centroid position control with 2 different PIDs, adding bumbless and anti-wind-up actions and also a re-tuning of the PID constants with an empirical and model-based approach is done and a new GAM (General Application Module) in MARTe is wrote for an LQR control based on a MIMO data driven estimated model. For the Real-Time reconstruction of the system unknown model states a Kalman Filter was implemented on the GAM.

During the 5-months internship I was also able to meet a lot of new people and students from all over Italy and all over the world, with them I’ve practiced with my English (and a bit of portoguese) and together we were able to experience and live the colours and warm of Lisbon, to admire the greatness (and the cold) of the Ocean while surfing and rock climbing the cliffs. Exciting!

- Alessandro C.