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Title: Electron Temperature Fluctuation Measurements and Transport Model Validation at Alcator C-Mod

Abstract

The tokamak is a type of toroidal device used to confine a fusion plasma using large magnetic fields. Tokamaks and stellarators the leading devices for confining plasmas for fusion, and the capability to predict performance in these magnetically confined plasmas is essential for developing a sustainable fusion energy source. The magnetic configuration of tokamaks and stellarators does not exist in Nature, yet, the fundamental processes governing transport in fusion plasmas are universal – turbulence and instabilities, driven by inhomogeneity and asymmetry in the plasma, conspire to transport heat and particles across magnetic field lines and can play critical roles in impurity confinement and generation of intrinsic rotation. Turbulence exists in all plasmas, and in neutral fluids as well. The study of turbulence is essential to developing a fundamental understanding of the nature of the fourth state of matter, plasmas. Experimental studies of turbulence in tokamaks date back to early scattering observations from the late 1970s. Since that time, great advances in turbulence diagnostics have been made, all of which have significantly enhanced our knowledge and understanding of turbulence in tokamaks. Through comparisons with advanced gyrokinetic theory and turbulent-transport models a great deal of evidence exists to implicate turbulent-driven transport asmore » an important mechanism determining transport in all channels: heat, particle and momentum However, prediction and control of turbulent-driven transport remains elusive. Key to development of predictive transport models for magnetically confined fusion plasmas is validation of the nonlinear gyrokinetic transport model, which describes transport due to turbulence. Validation of gyrokinetic codes must include detailed and quantitative comparisons with measured turbulence characteristics, in addition to comparisons with inferred transport levels and equilibrium profiles. For this reason, advanced plasma diagnostics for studying core turbulence are needed in order to assess the accuracy of gyrokinetic models for turbulent-driven particle, heat and momentum transport. New core turbulence diagnostics at the world-class tokamaks Alcator C-Mod at MIT and ASDEX Upgrade at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics have been designed, developed, and operated over the course of this project. These new instruments are capable of measuring electron temperature fluctuations and the phase angle between density and temperature fluctuations locally and quantitatively. These new data sets from Alcator C-Mod and ASDEX Upgrade are being used to fill key gaps in our understanding of turbulent transport in tokamaks. In particular, this project has results in new results on the topics of the Transport Shortfall, the role of ETG turbulence in tokamak plasmas, profile stiffness, the LOC/SOC transition, and intrinsic rotation reversals. These data are used in a rigorous process of “Transport model validation”, and this group is a world-leader on using turbulence models to design new hardware and new experiments at tokamaks. A correlation electron cyclotron emission (CECE) diagnostic is an instrument used to measure micro-scale fluctuations (mm-scale, compared to the machine size of meters) of electron temperature in magnetically confined fusion plasmas, such as those in tokamaks and stellarators. These micro-scale fluctuations are associated with drift-wave type turbulence, which leads to enhanced cooling and mixing of particles in fusion plasmas and limits achieving the required temperatures and densities for self-sustained fusion reactions. A CECE system can also be coupled with a reflectometer system that measured micro-scale density fluctuations, and from these simultaneous measurements, one can extract the phase between the density (n) and temperature (T) fluctuations, creating an nT phase diagnostic. Measurements of the fluctuations and the phase angle between them are extremely useful for testing and validating predictive models for the transport of heat and particles in fusion plasmas due to turbulence. Once validated, the models are used to predict performance in ITER and other burning plasmas, such as the MIT ARC design. Most recently, data from the newly developed, so-called “CECE diagnostic” [Cima 1995, White 2008] and “nT phase angle measurements” [Haese 1999, White 2010] ]will be combined with data from density fluctuation diagnostics at ASDEX Upgrade to support a long-term program of physics research in turbulence and transport that will allow for more stringent testing and validation of gyrokinetic turbulent-transport codes. This work directly impacts the development of predictive transport models in the U.S. FES program, such as TGLF, developed by General Atomics, which are used to predict performance in ITER and other burning plasma devices as part of advancing the development of fusion energy sciences.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
OSTI Identifier:
1364880
Report Number(s):
DOE-MIT-0006419
DOE Contract Number:
SC0006419
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; fusion; tokamak; turbulence; fluctuations; validation; CECE; n-T phase; nTphase

Citation Formats

White, Anne. Electron Temperature Fluctuation Measurements and Transport Model Validation at Alcator C-Mod. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1364880.
White, Anne. Electron Temperature Fluctuation Measurements and Transport Model Validation at Alcator C-Mod. United States. doi:10.2172/1364880.
White, Anne. Thu . "Electron Temperature Fluctuation Measurements and Transport Model Validation at Alcator C-Mod". United States. doi:10.2172/1364880. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1364880.
@article{osti_1364880,
title = {Electron Temperature Fluctuation Measurements and Transport Model Validation at Alcator C-Mod},
author = {White, Anne},
abstractNote = {The tokamak is a type of toroidal device used to confine a fusion plasma using large magnetic fields. Tokamaks and stellarators the leading devices for confining plasmas for fusion, and the capability to predict performance in these magnetically confined plasmas is essential for developing a sustainable fusion energy source. The magnetic configuration of tokamaks and stellarators does not exist in Nature, yet, the fundamental processes governing transport in fusion plasmas are universal – turbulence and instabilities, driven by inhomogeneity and asymmetry in the plasma, conspire to transport heat and particles across magnetic field lines and can play critical roles in impurity confinement and generation of intrinsic rotation. Turbulence exists in all plasmas, and in neutral fluids as well. The study of turbulence is essential to developing a fundamental understanding of the nature of the fourth state of matter, plasmas. Experimental studies of turbulence in tokamaks date back to early scattering observations from the late 1970s. Since that time, great advances in turbulence diagnostics have been made, all of which have significantly enhanced our knowledge and understanding of turbulence in tokamaks. Through comparisons with advanced gyrokinetic theory and turbulent-transport models a great deal of evidence exists to implicate turbulent-driven transport as an important mechanism determining transport in all channels: heat, particle and momentum However, prediction and control of turbulent-driven transport remains elusive. Key to development of predictive transport models for magnetically confined fusion plasmas is validation of the nonlinear gyrokinetic transport model, which describes transport due to turbulence. Validation of gyrokinetic codes must include detailed and quantitative comparisons with measured turbulence characteristics, in addition to comparisons with inferred transport levels and equilibrium profiles. For this reason, advanced plasma diagnostics for studying core turbulence are needed in order to assess the accuracy of gyrokinetic models for turbulent-driven particle, heat and momentum transport. New core turbulence diagnostics at the world-class tokamaks Alcator C-Mod at MIT and ASDEX Upgrade at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics have been designed, developed, and operated over the course of this project. These new instruments are capable of measuring electron temperature fluctuations and the phase angle between density and temperature fluctuations locally and quantitatively. These new data sets from Alcator C-Mod and ASDEX Upgrade are being used to fill key gaps in our understanding of turbulent transport in tokamaks. In particular, this project has results in new results on the topics of the Transport Shortfall, the role of ETG turbulence in tokamak plasmas, profile stiffness, the LOC/SOC transition, and intrinsic rotation reversals. These data are used in a rigorous process of “Transport model validation”, and this group is a world-leader on using turbulence models to design new hardware and new experiments at tokamaks. A correlation electron cyclotron emission (CECE) diagnostic is an instrument used to measure micro-scale fluctuations (mm-scale, compared to the machine size of meters) of electron temperature in magnetically confined fusion plasmas, such as those in tokamaks and stellarators. These micro-scale fluctuations are associated with drift-wave type turbulence, which leads to enhanced cooling and mixing of particles in fusion plasmas and limits achieving the required temperatures and densities for self-sustained fusion reactions. A CECE system can also be coupled with a reflectometer system that measured micro-scale density fluctuations, and from these simultaneous measurements, one can extract the phase between the density (n) and temperature (T) fluctuations, creating an nT phase diagnostic. Measurements of the fluctuations and the phase angle between them are extremely useful for testing and validating predictive models for the transport of heat and particles in fusion plasmas due to turbulence. Once validated, the models are used to predict performance in ITER and other burning plasmas, such as the MIT ARC design. Most recently, data from the newly developed, so-called “CECE diagnostic” [Cima 1995, White 2008] and “nT phase angle measurements” [Haese 1999, White 2010] ]will be combined with data from density fluctuation diagnostics at ASDEX Upgrade to support a long-term program of physics research in turbulence and transport that will allow for more stringent testing and validation of gyrokinetic turbulent-transport codes. This work directly impacts the development of predictive transport models in the U.S. FES program, such as TGLF, developed by General Atomics, which are used to predict performance in ITER and other burning plasma devices as part of advancing the development of fusion energy sciences.},
doi = {10.2172/1364880},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 22 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Jun 22 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • A new second harmonic heterodyne electron cyclotron emission system with high spatial resolution ({le}15thinspmm) and a large number of channels (32) for dense profile coverage will be installed on Alcator C-Mod. The system will provide detailed radial electron temperature profiles and core temperature fluctuation measurements. The collection system is composed of elliptical and parabolic mirrors coupled to two overmoded waveguides to provide high poloidal spatial resolution necessary for {tilde T}{sub e} measurements. Four radiometer sections cover the frequency range of 234{endash}306 GHz, coupled to four optimized intermediate frequency modules with eight channels of detectors, amplifiers, dividers, and filters providing themore » profile information. A separate filter arrangement allows for temperature fluctuation measurements utilizing correlation techniques. {copyright} {ital 1999 American Institute of Physics.}« less
  • The goal of this thesis was to study the behavior of the plasma transport during the divertor detachment in order to explain the central electron density rise. The measurement of particle transport coefficients requires sophisticated diagnostic tools. A two color interferometer system was developed and installed on Alcator C-Mod to measure the electron density with high spatial ({approx} 2 cm) and high temporal ({le} 1.0 ms) resolution. The system consists of 10 CO{sub 2} (10.6 {mu}m) and 4 HeNe (.6328 {mu}m) chords that are used to measure the line integrated density to within 0.08 CO{sub 2} degrees or 2.3 {times}more » 10{sup 16}m{sup {minus}2} theoretically. Using the two color interferometer, a series of gas puffing experiments were conducted. The density was varied above and below the threshold density for detachment at a constant magnetic field and plasma current. Using a gas modulation technique, the particle diffusion, D, and the convective velocity, V, were determined. Profiles were inverted using a SVD inversion and the transport coefficients were extracted with a time regression analysis and a transport simulation analysis. Results from each analysis were in good agreement. Measured profiles of the coefficients increased with the radius and the values were consistent with measurements from other experiments. The values exceeded neoclassical predictions by a factor of 10. The profiles also exhibited an inverse dependence with plasma density. The scaling of both attached and detached plasmas agreed well with this inverse scaling. This result and the lack of change in the energy and impurity transport indicate that there was no change in the underlying transport processes after detachment.« less
  • A series of experiments on the effect of divertor baffling on the Alcator C-Mod tokamak provides stringent tests on models of neutral gas transport in and around the divertor region. One attractive feature of these experiments is that a trial description of the background plasma can be constructed from experimental measurements using a simple model, allowing the neutral gas transport to be studied with a stand-alone code. The neutral-ion and neutral-neutral elastic scattering processes recently added to the DEGAS 2 Monte Carlo neutral transport code permit the neutral gas flow rates between the divertor and main chamber to be simulatedmore » more realistically than before. Nonetheless, the simulated neutral pressures are too low and the deuterium Balmer-alpha emission profiles differ qualitatively from those measured, indicating an incomplete understanding of the physical processes involved in the experiment. Some potential explanations are examined and opportunities for future exploration a re highlighted. Improvements to atomic and surface physics data and models will play a role in the latter.« less
  • Visible imaging of gas puffs has been used on the Alcator C-Mod tokamak to characterize edge plasma turbulence, yielding data that can be compared with plasma turbulence codes. Simulations of these experiments with the DEGAS 2 Monte Carlo neutral transport code have been carried out to explore the relationship between the plasma fluctuations and the observed light emission. By imposing two-dimensional modulations on the measured time-average plasma density and temperature profiles, we demonstrate that the spatial structure of the emission cloud reflects that of the underlying turbulence. However, the photon emission rate depends on the plasma density and temperature inmore » a complicated way, and no simple scheme for inferring the plasma parameters directly from the light emission patterns is apparent. The simulations indicate that excited atoms generated by molecular dissociation are a significant source of photons, further complicating interpretation of the gas puff imaging results.Visibl e imaging of gas puffs has been used on the Alcator C-Mod tokamak to characterize edge plasma turbulence, yielding data that can be compared with plasma turbulence codes. Simulations of these experiments with the DEGAS 2 Monte Carlo neutral transport code have been carried out to explore the relationship between the plasma fluctuations and the observed light emission. By imposing two-dimensional modulations on the measured time-average plasma density and temperature profiles, we demonstrate that the spatial structure of the emission cloud reflects that of the underlying turbulence. However, the photon emission rate depends on the plasma density and temperature in a complicated way, and no simple scheme for inferring the plasma parameters directly from the light emission patterns is apparent. The simulations indicate that excited atoms generated by molecular dissociation are a significant source of photons, further complicating interpretation of the gas puff imaging results.« less
  • Physics understanding for the experimental improvement of particle and energy confinement is being advanced through massively parallel calculations of microturbulence for simulated plasma conditions. The ultimate goal, an experimentally validated, global, non-local, fully nonlinear calculation of plasma microturbulence is still not within reach, but extraordinary progress has been achieved in understanding microturbulence, driving forces and the plasma response in recent years. In this paper we discuss gyrokinetic simulations of plasma turbulence being carried out to examine a reproducible, H-mode, RF heated experiment on the Alcator CMOD tokamak3, which exhibits an internal transport barrier (ITB). This off axis RF case representsmore » the early phase of a very interesting dual frequency RF experiment, which shows density control with central RF heating later in the discharge. The ITB exhibits steep, spontaneous density peaking: a reduction in particle transport occurring without a central particle source. Since the central temperature is maintained while the central density is increasing, this also suggests a thermal transport barrier exists. TRANSP analysis shows that ceff drops inside the ITB. Sawtooth heat pulse analysis also shows a localized thermal transport barrier. For this ICRF EDA H-mode, the minority resonance is at r/a * 0.5 on the high field side. There is a normal shear profile, with q monotonic.« less