A detailed description of a prototype setup for real-time (RT) Thomson scattering (TS) analysis is presented and implemented in the multi-point Thomson scattering (MPTS) diagnostic system at the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U). The data acquisition hardware was upgraded with RT capable electronics (RT-analog digital converters and a RT server) that allow for fast digitization of the laser pulse signal of eight radial MPTS channels. In addition, a new TS spectrum analysis software for a rapid calculation of electron temperature (T e ) and electron density (n e ) was developed. Testing of the RT hardware and data analysis software was successfully completed and benchmarked against the standard, post-shot evaluation. Timing tests were performed showing that the end-to-end processing time was reproducibly below 17 ms for the duration of at least 5 s, meeting a 60 Hz deadline by the laser pulse repetition rate over the length of a NSTX-U discharge. The presented RT framework is designed to be scalable in system size, i.e., incorporation of additional radial channels by solely adding additional RT capable hardware. Furthermore, it is scalable in its operation duration and was continuously running for up to 30 min, making it an attractive solution for machines with long discharges such as advanced, non-inductive tokamaks or stellarators.
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