Plasma Surrogate Modelling using Fourier Neural Operators


Predicting plasma evolution within a Tokamak reactor is crucial to realizing the goal of sustainable fusion. Capabilities in forecasting the spatio-temporal evolution of plasma rapidly and accurately allow us to quickly iterate over design and control strategies on current Tokamak devices and future reactors. Modelling plasma evolution using numerical solvers is often expensive, consuming many hours on supercomputers, and hence, we need alternative inexpensive surrogate models. We demonstrate accurate predictions of plasma evolution both in simulation and experimental domains using deep learning-based surrogate modelling tools, viz., Fourier Neural Operators (FNO). We show that FNO has a speedup of six orders of magnitude over traditional solvers in predicting the plasma dynamics simulated from magnetohydrodynamic models, while maintaining a high accuracy (MSE in the normalised domain $≈$ $10^-5$). Our modified version of the FNO is capable of solving multi-variable Partial Differential Equations (PDE), and can capture the dependence among the different variables in a single model. FNOs can also predict plasma evolution on real-world experimental data observed by the cameras positioned within the MAST Tokamak, i.e., cameras looking across the central solenoid and the divertor in the Tokamak. We show that FNOs are able to accurately forecast the evolution of plasma and have the potential to be deployed for real-time monitoring. We also illustrate their capability in forecasting the plasma shape, the locations of interactions of the plasma with the central solenoid and the divertor for the full (available) duration of the plasma shot within MAST. The FNO offers a viable alternative for surrogate modelling as it is quick to train and infer, and requires fewer data points, while being able to do zero-shot super-resolution and getting high-fidelity solutions.

Nuclear Fusion