The DIBA project analyzes the cybersecurity of IFMIF-DONES control systems

The consortium formed to carry out DIBA has developed a critical signal digitization project through low-latency communications based on high-performance synchronization, with direct application to IFMIF-DONES, the future facility in Granada that will house a particle accelerator in the that the materials with which fusion energy reactors will be built in the future will be investigated.
onTech Innovation has coordinated this industrial research initiative, financed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and developed by the companies Orolia, JTSEC, Aaron and the University of Granada.
DIBA (Digitization of Interlocks through Low Latency Communications) has as its main objective the design of sensors and digitization of the signals produced for their subsequent deterministic, secure transmission with extremely low latency levels. To this end, the characteristics of the sensors linked to the generation of critical signals for IFMIF-DONES will be analyzed, the subsequent sending through reliable, cyber-secure and deterministic Ethernet networks.
The environments in which the particle accelerator control systems are deployed must be capable of allowing the reliable propagation and delivery of the data from the different sensors and the control signals of the installation. The nature of these control signals can be highly critical, since they are responsible for propagating fundamental messages for the protection of the installation and personnel, communicating the status of the fundamental accelerator systems, or propagating alarm signals to the operators of plant.
These signals also coexist with the accelerator’s multiple data sources, such as the signaling systems themselves, flows from various sensors, generic TCP/IP communications, etc; that have usually been transported both as analog and digital signals and over Ethernet networks, among others, thus resulting in a complex communications environment, difficult to manage, and even susceptible to the effects of noise. DIBA proposes a solution that allows the digitized transport of all these flows, greatly simplifying the deployment, management, and maintenance of the accelerator network.
Safety in the accelerator’s new transportation network is also paramount. In this area, DIBA has placed special emphasis on studying the main aspects of cybersecurity in the communications platform to allow its certification and use in facilities as complex as IFMIF-DONES. As a result of the project, a proof of concept has been proposed in which the environment of the accelerator control network is simulated to study the performance of communications, ensuring low latency and the availability of a high aggregation capacity. of various data streams.
This is only the first of the three stages set out in the roadmap for the creation of DIBA, in which the consortium collaborates in improving the cybersecurity of a pioneering project at European level, and which is the stage prior to implementation commercial fusion reactor, whose objective is the generation of energy from the thermonuclear fusion of confined ions.
The DIBA initiative is financed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, as part of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, with Next Generation EU funds from the European Union.

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