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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. 2017. "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 = 2017,
month = 6
}

Technical Report:

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  • The NRL pulsed plasma probe experiment was successfully flown on each of the two PLUMEX rockets during July 1979. The experiment provided direct measurements of absolute density N(e), temperature T(e) and density fluctuation power spectra with a maximum Nyquist frequency of 1 KHz (1 meter resolution at a 1 km/sec rocket velocity). In the first operation, a number of major depletions were distributed througout the F-region, from its bottomside gradient centered near 260 km, through the F-peak, to a topside altitude of 500 km. The F-peak was at 375 km, with N(e)(max) = 1/1,300,000 cc (+ or - 10%). Themore » electron energy distribution was characterized by T(e) = 1350 (+ or - 250)K with no obvious signatures of energy redistribution in and around the depletions. The most intense 'in situ' irregularities occurred on the bottomside ledge where gradient scale lengths were found to vary between 2 and 25 km. The power spectral density in this region of intense irregularities on the bottomside was dominated by a k(-2.5) power law over the intermediate wavelength domain K = 2pi/1 km to k = 2pi/2.5 m. This result supports the role of the collisional Rayleigh-Taylor instability in generation intermediate wavelength irregularities during the occurrence of equatorial spread-F.« less
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  • A study of the electron temperature evolution has been performed using thermal electron cyclotron emission. A six channel far infrared polychromator was used to monitor the radiation eminating from six radial locations. The time resolution was <3 ..mu..s. Three events were studied, the sawtooth disruption, propagation of the sawtooth generated heatpulse and the electron temperature response to pellet injection. The sawtooth disruption in Alcator takes place in 20 to 50 ..mu..s, the energy mixing radius is approx. 8 cm or a/2. It is shown that this is inconsistent with single resonant surface Kadomtsev reconnection. Various forms of scalings for themore » sawtooth period and amplitude were compared. The electron heatpulse propagation has been used to estimate chi e(the electron thermal diffusivity). The fast temperature relaxation observed during pellet injection has also been studied. Electron temperature profile reconstructions have shown that the profile shape can recover to its pre-injection form in a time scale of 200 ..mu..s to 3 ms depending on pellet size.« less
  • A neutron spectrometer system has been designed, assembled, and used to measure the D-D neutron spectrum at Alcator C. The design of the shielding and collimation was critical to the successful measurement of the spectrum and involved an integral approach in which the neutronics of the Alcator C was exploited to obtain a successful system. The system consists of a /sup 3/He ionization chamber mounted in a multi-component shield system. Essentially the outermost part of the shield and collimator has been designed to moderate the MeV-range neutrons to thermal energies. The inner part of the shield is designed to capturemore » the thermalized neutrons with a minimum of gamma production. As a result, measurements during plasma discharges indicate that the ratio of the number of counts in the 2.45-MeV peak to the total number of neutron counts in the ion chamber is 1.67.« less
  • A diagnostic that provides time-resolved central electron temperatures has been designed, built, and tested on the ALCATOR C Tokamak. The diagnostic uses an array of fixed-wavelength x-ray crystal monochromators to sample the x-ray continuum and determine the absolute electron temperature. The resolution and central energy of each channel were chosen to exclude any contributions from impurity line radiation. This document describes the need for such a diagnostic, the design methodology, and the results with typical ALCATOR C plasmas. Sawtooth (m = 1) temperature oscillations were observed after pellet fueling of the plasma. This is the first time that such oscillationsmore » have been observed with an x-ray temperature diagnostic.« less