Surviving the Maelstrom inside ITER

A few months ago, I saw an email asking for contributions to Fusion in Europe, the magazine produced by EuroFusion, who are the EU’s joint collaboration for delivering fusion energy.

A bolometer sensor, mounted inside an aluminium sensor holder, ready for testing.

Being extremely keen, I replied and had a chat with the editor, Karl Tischler. He was full of advice and ideas for writing a popular science article, and it seemed like a good opportunity to learn something. I set out to write about the bolometry diagnostic being developed at IPP for ITER. If you don’t know what that is, see the link to the article below!

After a few drafts it was clear we’d need some pictures, so I headed into the lab to grab some photos. I convinced my colleague Adam Pataki to extract some computer models of ITER to illustrate where the bolometers will go, and sent everything off to Fusion in Europe.

The ITER bolometer vacuum test stand, a vacuum oven with electrical connections for calibrating prototype bolometer sensors at high temperatures.

A few weeks later, it was published! You can read the complete article here. I had a lot of fun writing it, and hopefully it’s of interest to people who wonder what it’s like to work on (a very small part of) ITER!

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