In France, the EU, the USA, China, and other partners are building the fusion reactor ITER. Scientists at the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe simulate the complex process inside the test reactor under the EU research project EUFORIA. For this purpose, they link computers from all over Europe and harmonize the simulations made in various areas of fusion.
Dr. Elisabeth Zuber-Knost
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For a duration of three years, the European Commission is funding the EUFORIA project with EUR 3.65 millions. The project links scientists from Sweden, Finland, England, Spain, Slovenia, France, Italy, Poland, and Germany, the objective being to connect simulation programs from various fields of physics. So far, the scientists have applied them separately. Now, they are brought together to simulate the fusion reactor as a whole. The individual simulation programs often comprise extensive calculation processes. For this reason, it often takes months until results are available. Partly, the simulations have been optimized in long years of detailed work for special computer architectures, e.g. vector computers that execute calculations of a number of data at the same time. Depending on the configuration of the computers and their components and the organization of the workflows in the computers, the scientists developed the programs further, but in various ways.
The researchers of the EUFORIA project are now facing the task to distribute the computing capacity required for simulation to the computers all over Europe, for example, to networks of computers or high-performance computers. Marcus Hardt, responsible for the project at the Forschungszentrum, explains: “Moreover, we try to link the different computer architectures such that the strengths of the respective architecture are made use of to the full extent”.
Hardt points out that the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe possesses several strengths in this interdisciplinary project. It is represented by institutes in the field of computer technology as well as institutes in the field of fusion. Grid computing as a main research area plays a key role. Here, work of the scientists is aimed at supplying computing capacities like power from the grid. The EU project, underlines Hardt, “offers the chance to use grid technologies in the field of fusion as well as in that of high-performance computing”.
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) represents the merger of the Universität Karlsruhe with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Altogether, it has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros.
The KIT will be an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. KIT shall attract the best experts from all over the world, set new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists, and establish the leading European center in the field of energy research. KIT will assume a leading role in nanosciences worldwide. It is the objective of KIT to be one of the most important cooperation partners of industry
Press Release 13/2008
EU Funds Fusion Research
Project Start at the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe: Simulation of a Reactor
ele, March 26, 2008