Real innovation in a virtual world

CCFE 18/08/2016

Jonathan Naish from CCFE’s Technology Department has won a €12,500 prize in the SOFT (Symposium on Fusion Technology) innovation competition for his new software development, VORTEX.

VORTEX softwareThe VORTEX (Virtual Operator RadiaTion EXposure) software prototype combines virtual reality environments with the high-fidelity 3D data output of radiation transport calculations, such as gamma radiation dose and nuclear heating.

The use of immersive virtual reality, with highly accurate radiation transport maps of entire machines and buildings, will allow operators of fusion devices to plan and optimise procedures by practising them in a real-time virtual environment.

As well as allowing operations to be optimised and improved, it will also provide accurate determination of doses to people and equipment during complex procedures in radiation environments. The software has the potential to be used in a variety of nuclear environments, including those outside of the fusion arena.

The innovation competition is run in conjunction with SOFT – a major international fusion technology conference that is held every two years. It aims to highlight and reward the excellence in innovation found in fusion research. The awards will be presented at this year’s conference in Prague in September.

Jonathan is understandably delighted with the prize: “I am honoured to have won the SOFT innovation award, and I am looking forward to using the money to further develop virtual engineering at Culham.”