Workshop: AI for Science: Progress and Promises

Fourier Neural Operator for Plasma Modelling

Vignesh Gopakumar · Stanislas Pamela · Lorenzo Zanisi · Zongyi Li · Anima Anandkumar

Keywords: [ plasma ] [ FNO ] [ Fusion ] [ surrogate model ] [ Neural operator ]

Abstract: Predicting plasma evolution within a Tokamak is crucial to building a sustainable fusion reactor. Whether in the simulation space or within the experimental domain, the capability to forecast the spatio-temporal evolution of plasma field variables rapidly and accurately could improve active control methods on current tokamak devices and future fusion reactors. In this work, we demonstrate the utility of using Fourier Neural Operator (FNO) to model the plasma evolution in simulations and experiments. Our work shows that the FNO is capable of predicting magnetohydrodynamic models governing the plasma dynamics, 6 orders of magnitude faster than the traditional numerical solver, while maintaining considerable accuracy (NMSE $\sim 10^{-5})$. Our work also benchmarks the performance of the FNO against other standard surrogate models such as Conv-LSTM and U-Net and demonstrate that the FNO takes significantly less time to train, requires less parameters and outperforms other models. We extend the FNO approach to model the plasma evolution observed by the cameras positioned within the MAST spherical tokamak. We illustrate its capability in forecasting the formation of filaments within the plasma as well as the heat deposits. The FNO deployed to model the camera is capable of forecasting the full length of the plasma shot within half the time of the shot duration.

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