skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

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:

Save / Share: