skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on April 11, 2019

Title: Initial development of the DIII–D snowflake divertor control

Simultaneous control of two proximate magnetic field nulls in the divertor region is demonstrated on DIII–D to enable plasma operations in an advanced magnetic configuration known as the snowflake divertor (SFD). The SFD is characterized by a second-order poloidal field null, created by merging two first-order nulls of the standard divertor configuration. The snowflake configuration has many magnetic properties, such as high poloidal flux expansion, large plasma-wetted area, and additional strike points, that are advantageous for divertor heat flux management in future fusion reactors. However, the magnetic configuration of the SFD is highly-sensitive to changes in currents within the plasma and external coils and therefore requires complex magnetic control. The first real-time snowflake detection and control system on DIII–D has been implemented in order to stabilize the configuration. The control algorithm calculates the position of the two nulls in real-time by locally-expanding the Grad–Shafranov equation in the divertor region. A linear relation between variations in the poloidal field coil currents and changes in the null locations is then analytically derived. This formulation allows for simultaneous control of multiple coils to achieve a desired SFD configuration. It is shown that the control enabled various snowflake configurations on DIII–D in scenarios suchmore » as the double-null advanced tokamak. In conclusion, the SFD resulted in a 2.5×reduction in the peak heat flux for many energy confinement times (2–3s) without any adverse effects on core plasma performance.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  3. General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-04ER54698; AC02-09CH11466; AC52-07NA27344; AC05-00OR22725; SC0015480; SC0015878
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Fusion
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 58; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5515
IOP Science
Research Org:
General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States); Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
advanced divertor; divertor; control; snowflake; DIII-D
OSTI Identifier: