A well-known challenge of fusion is keeping the plasma well centered and away from the confinement vessel walls long enough to release sufficient amounts of harvestable fusion energy.
Early FRCs in the field achieved lifetimes of no more than a millisecond. However, with Speedgoat’s contribution alongside others, TAE’s Norman fusion device has achieved a steady state operation of hot FRC plasma (~ 30 Million degrees Celsius) for as long as the neutral beam power input lasts (~ 30ms). The single FRC is stabilized using state of the art feedback control techniques. This requires the plasma shape and position to be inferred with low latency (<10 µs) from hundreds of magnetic field sensors located outside the plasma.
The device settings of the Norman fusion device are further optimized between consecutive experiments using the Optometrist Algorithm, a joint research partnership between TAE and Google.