Research at PPFE

PPFE's activities directly contribute to the realisation of the ITER experimental fusion device. ITERs goal is to demonstrate net energy production by fusion reactions. ITER is presently being constructed in Cadarache, France.

In our research we particularly focus on studies of:

  • Transport and turbulence
  • Dynamics of energetic ions

in magnetically confined fusion plasmas. To this effect we develop large scale numeric codes to simulate plasma turbulence behaviour in the edge region of fusion devices. This is important to optimise and control the plasma behaviour and plasma power exhaust.

In operating fusion plasmas energetic ions are expected to dominate the plasma behaviour in the central region of the fusion device. For the experimental characterisation of energetic ions we develop and operate the collective Thomson scattering measurement systems.

Both items are high priority research areas on the way towards a working fusion power plant.

Fast Ion Collective Thomson Scattering
Magnetically confined fusion plasmas contain highly non-thermal populations of fast ions resulting from fusion reactions and plasma heating. Understanding the plasma dynamics involving fast ions is essential for optimising fusion performance. Ion dynamics is investigated by means of Collective Thomson Scattering (CTS). The CTS research is focused on:

CTS diagnostics Asdex Upgrade and CTS diagnostics ITER 

Turbulence and Transport in Plasmas
Turbulence is the main player in defining the confinement properties of plasma fusion devices. We develop theoretical models for the fundamental understanding of turbulence and transport and use high performance supercomputers to simulate plasma behavior. Our results are used in interpreting and enhancing fusion experiments in Europe and worldwide.

The section for Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy participates in the European coordinated programme for fusion research in close collaboration with other European and international research groups.


Volker Naulin
DTU Physics
+45 25 37 45 38