Powering the Future: Our Contribution to the World's Largest Fusion Experiment – ITER

May 23, 2023

We’re proud to be part of ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) - an international collaboration aimed at developing a reactor capable of generating energy on a commercial scale. ITER could play a significant role in the world's transition to a low-carbon economy. Discover how Critical plays a crucial role in achieving this goal.

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor
Credit © ITER Organisation,

Fusion, the reaction that fuels the Sun and the stars, has the potential to be a source of safe, non-carbon emitting, and virtually limitless energy.

We proudly contribute to an international research and development initiative led by prominent global leaders in the field: EU, USA, Japan, Russia, South Korea, India, and China. 

As part of this project, we are also leading two consortia where reference research institutions such as the Chalmers University of Technology, IPP (Max Plank Institute for Plasma Physics), and IPFN (Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear) support knowledge transfer that will enable tomorrow’s energy.  

‘We want to change the world for the better and develop innovative systems that work in the most challenging environments. We know that the technology and engineering processes that allow us to study the smallest of particles, the most advanced forms of energy, or explore the universe around us have similarities and that these advances produce synergies that we exploit in our services to other markets.’ states Rodrigo Pascoal, the Business Development Manager responsible for this partnership. 

Our BDM also confirms that ‘our responsibilities include design, implementation, testing, validation, and integration of subsystems/software components; process automation; HMI, and GUI development; integration with other systems; validation and commissioning of the system; AIT and support/maintenance in operation.’  

ITER will be the largest fusion experiment ever built, with a total plasma volume of 840 cubic metres and a magnetic field strength of up to 13 Tesla. It is designed to produce an output of 500 MW of thermal power, with a fusion power gain factor (Q) of 10, meaning that the fusion reactions will produce ten times more energy than is required to heat the plasma. 

‘The participation in the project comes from our desire, as a company, to seek opportunities that allow us to fulfil part of our social mission, which includes promoting sustainability, environmental protection, and the resilience of our democracy. ITER (and fusion projects in general) contains all these ingredients in trying to replicate the energy of the sun, by seeking solutions that allow Europe to be energy self-sufficient, through safe, clean, and abundant technologies.’ says Rodrigo. 

These scientific projects hold immense significance. Just like space exploration, they possess a rare and captivating quality that ignites our imagination, stirs our curiosity, and guides our sense of purpose. 

Critical’s Contribution to the Space & Science Sector  

Our expertise in the space & science sector extends to over 25 missions, where we have served as the prime contractor or tier 1 suppliers. We have successfully handled the entire spectrum of activities, including specification, design, development, verification, and validation of embedded software systems. Our solutions have covered upstream and downstream systems, including the development of flight software (OBC, equipment and ICU), data access, processing and communication applications and our own modular, customisable software validation facility. We continue to contribute to some of the most advanced, critical scientific instruments supporting the development of software infrastructure, including control, data access and communication systems, working on data pipelines and models for ESO, ITER, SKA, ESS, and EUMETSAT. 

Are you ready to blast off to infinity and beyond? Discover more here.