From the exploitation of infrared thermography diagnostics in fusion tokamaks to the supervision of high temperature industrial processes

Exploiting sensor data to analyze heterogeneous signals

Detection of thermal anomalies in the Tore Supra tokamak (CEA)

Initiated at the end of 2013, the ThermaVIP, (“Viewing Imaging Platform”)software platform provides the necessary functions for the delayed and real-time exploitation of sensor data, including imaging, to facilitate the understanding of the observed process. This may involve, for example, analyzing the physical phenomena that have occurred in a tokamak to understand their impact on the machine. Following this, Thermadiag startup is funded in 2015 by three engineers that have acquired a great expertise in the exploitation of infrared thermography diagnostics in fusion tokamaks (the understanding accelerated ageing and damage of materials under high thermal stress). ThermaVIP is based on a modular and open source architecture that allows new sensors, algorithms or graphic components to be easily integrated. Its unique graphical interface, designed for end users, offers an ergonomic solution dedicated to the visualization/handling of heterogeneous signals.

High-performance thermal imaging diagnostics to understand thermal phenomena

In magnetic confinement fusion machines, plasma-facing components are subjected to high heat fluxes that can cause damage. These damages are reinforced by leakage currents that impose point/localized concentrations of heat and radiation. Therefore, the IRFM has developed high-performance thermal imaging diagnostics for Tore Supra’s and West’s Tokamaks, dedicated to protecting these components and providing a physical understanding of thermal phenomena. ThermaVIP is used daily on 3 tokamaks (WEST/FR, JET/UK, W7-X/DE) for real-time IR acquisition and offline analysis of sensor data.

images acquired and processed by the ThermmaVIP software

Based on their work for tokamak instrumenting, Thermadiag developed for the past seven years a software platform to allow supervision of high-temperature industrial processes. One remarkable collaboration has been done with ArcelorMittal, a multinational steel manufacturing and the world’s largest steel producer, with an annual crude steel production of 92.5 million metric tons in 2018. They have numerous industrial sites where they produce steel to many industrial sectors, such as packaging, general industry, and especially the automotive industry. They were looking for innovative technology allowing us to reduce their cost and optimize their production (quality and performance).

Drones and infrared cameras to perform a thermal scan on a complex industrial environment

images acquired and processed by the ThermmaVIP software

In order to be suitable for the supervision of high-temperature industrial processes, the fusion experts developed a set of modules allowing the use of imaging diagnostics in a complex set of measurements: video stream acquisition and storage, synchronization and visualization of heterogeneous sensor data (1D -> 3D), representation of dynamic signals in 3D environments, Multi-sensor data fusion and automatic detection of thermal anomalies.

The usecase imagined with Arcelor Mittal consisted in inspecting the industrial site by drones associated with infrared cameras : aerial thermography allows to perform a fast and complete thermal scan of a large industrial site in a critical industrial environment. After discussions on the definition of the capture strategy, the calibration and the usable rendering, ArcelorMittal has joined forces with two partners: StudioFly Technologie (a specialist in industrial inspection by drone) and Thermadiag (a start-up specializing in the exploitation of thermal data in nuclear reactors) to develop a service of thermal measurements by drone and use it for its own requirements