In order to operate ITER, all the buildings and the equipment they contain must be connected up to communication networks. These networks transport data between the distributed plant systems and the central control systems (CODAC, Central Interlock System and Central Safety System). They have different characteristics depending on the classification, reliability, bandwidth and latency requirements.
The network infrastructure comprises 75 km of mainly multi-core fibre optic cables and two central hubs connected to 24 active distribution centres, with close to 600 local network access points distributed throughout the ITER site. Over the next seven years, thousands of plant system controllers and central computers will be connected to these network access points.
An important step in implementing the ITER network infrastructure was taken on October 24 when the detailed design contract was signed with the Korean company KEPCO Engineering &Construction. This contract will deliver a build-to-print design by the end of 2013. The actual installation will start in 2014 so as to receive the first plant systems in late 2014, and will continue throughout the civil construction phase.