Continuous data recording on fast real-time systems

L. Zabeo, F. Sartori, A. Neto, F. Piccolo, D. Alves, R. Vitelli, A. Barbalace, G. De Tommasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The PCU-Project [1] launched for the enhancement of the vertical stabilisation system at JET required the design of a new real-time control system with the challenging specifications of 2Gops and a cycle time of 50μs. The RTAI based architecture running on an x86 multi-core processor technology demonstrated to be the best platform for meeting the high requirements. Moreover, on this architecture thanks to the smart allocation of the interrupts it was possible to demonstrate simultaneous data streaming at 50MBs on Ethernet while handling a real-time 100kHz interrupt source with a maximum jitter of just 3μs. Because of the memory limitation imposed by 32bit version Linux running in kernel mode, the RTAI-based new controller allows a maximum practical data storage of 800MB per pulse. While this amount of data can be accepted for JET normal operation it posed some limitations in the debugging and commissioning of the system. In order to increase the capability of the data acquisition of the system we have designed a mechanism that allows continuous full bandwidth (56MB/s) data streaming from the real-time task (running in kernel mode) to either a data collector (running in user mode) or an external data acquisition server. The exploited architecture involves a peer to peer mechanisms where the sender running in RTAI kernel mode broadcasts large chunks of data using UDP packets, implemented using the ‘fcomm’ RTAI extension [2], to a receiver that will store the data. The paper will present the results of the initial RTAI operating system tests, the design of the streaming architecture and the first experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374 - 377
Number of pages4
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2010


  • Real-time
  • RTAI
  • Data streaming


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