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Ferguson, S. W.

Paper Title Page
ROAA02 Automatic Alignment System for the National Ignition Facility 486
  • A. A.S. Awwal, S. W. Ferguson, B. Horowitz, V. J. Miller Kamm, C. A. Reynolds, K. C. Wilhelmsen
    LLNL, Livermore
  The Automatic Alignment System for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large-scale parallel system that directs all 192 laser beams along the 300-m optical path to a 50-micron focus at target chamber in less than 30 minutes. The system commands 9,000 stepping motors to adjust mirrors and other optics. Twenty-two control loops per beamline request image processing services from a dedicated Linux cluster running Interactive Data Language tools that analyze high-resolution images of the beam and references. Process leveling assures the computational load is evenly spread. Algorithms also estimate measurement accuracy and reject off-normal images. One challenge to rapid alignment of beams in parallel is efficient coordination of shared devices, such as sensors that monitor multiple beams. Contention for shared resources is managed by the Component Mediation System, which precludes deadlocks and optimizes device motions using a hierarchical component structure. A reservation service provided by the software framework prevents interference from competing automated controls or the actions of system operators. The design, architecture and performance of the system will be discussed.  
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