June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.267.1 - 14.267.10
Automated Data Acquisition and Data Analysis for Plasma Diagnostics in PUPR-MC Plasma Machine with Web Capabilities
Introduction Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR) Plasma Engineering Laboratory (Figure 1) features a plasma machine built to study RF and microwave heating of steady-state plasmas. The Plasma Laboratory also features an interdisciplinary undergraduate research program sponsored by NASA Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium, to give engineering and sci- ence students a first experience on experimental research. This program receives students of all branches of the engineering and sciences. Hence, many of those students are totally untrained in using measurement equipment. To study the confinement, stabilization, pro- duction losses, macro and micro instabilities, and other plasma phenomena, it is necessary to diagnose the plasma density (n), electron temperature (Te ), ion temperature (Ti ), and plasma potential (Vs ). The Plasma Engineering Laboratory uses electrostatic probes for this purpose. Electrostatic probes are generally excited by injecting a ramp voltage V to the probe, and collecting the current I supplied by the plasma in which the probe is immersed. Then the current I-V characteristic is analyzed to extract useful information from it and de- termine the plasma parameters. In order to acquire and analyze the data from the probe, the precise operation and control of various elements is required. The operator must be trained in various topics before he (she) can perform these operations satisfactorily. This poses a problem in a predominantly undergraduate institution using the regime of 12 weeks terms. The students had to spend about one term just getting trained to perform a simple diagnostic. To expedite the realization of the experimental work, an automatic diagnostic system was needed. The main objective of this project was hence, to design software that automatically obtains the data from various electrostatic probes in use at PUPR Plasma Engineering Lab- oratory, performs the calculation of the desired plasma parameters, and store the results in a well suited location. Another objective was to develop a user friendly interface that allows any inexperienced user to perform measurements with very little training. The application also was required to communicate with the Human Machine Interface (HMI) software in place at the Laboratory (WonderwareT M ). In this work, the development of that piece of software is described.
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