Fusion Data Integration Project Receives Funding to Accelerate Progress in Clean Energy
In an effort to expedite the development of fusion power and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has allocated funding for a project led by researchers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). The three-year collaboration aims to integrate fusion data into a system that can be analyzed using AI-powered tools. Primary investigator Cristina Rea and her team intend to create a comprehensive fusion data platform that will provide researchers, especially underrepresented students, with unprecedented access to data. The project seeks to promote diversity in fusion and data science through outreach programs, with four out of five co-investigators being women.
The funding from the DoE will support the distribution of data produced by fusion devices such as the PSFC’s Alcator C-Mod, which operated from 1991 to 2016. Currently, accessing historical and current fusion data can be challenging due to user agreements and inconsistent cataloging methods. This hinders the use of machine learning for analysis and scientific discovery, resulting in a bottleneck in fusion research. The proposed fusion data platform will address these technical barriers by adhering to the FAIR (Findable, Interoperable, Accessible, Reusable) principles and UNESCO’s Open Science recommendations.
The platform’s databases will be built using MDSplusML, an upgraded version of the open-source MDSplus software developed by PSFC researchers. This software is widely used by fusion research institutes for storing and providing external access to fusion data. A primary objective of the project is to promote inclusivity by offering a subsidized summer school on fusion and machine learning, with a focus on encouraging the participation of women and disadvantaged groups. The collaboration’s work aligns with the research priorities outlined in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s “AI for Fusion” Coordinated Research Project, emphasizing community engagement and knowledge access for the advancement of fusion research and development.
Overall, the project aims to enhance collaboration and accessibility in the fusion community, fostering diverse ideas and accelerating scientific progress in fusion energy research.
– U.S. Department of Energy
– MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center
– International Atomic Energy Agency
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