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Author ORCID ID is 0000000334240419
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  1. Here, a heterodyne detection scheme is combined with a 10.59 μm CO 2 laser dispersion interferometer for the first time to allow large bandwidth measurements in the 10-100 MHz range. The approach employed utilizes a 40 MHz acousto-optic cell operating on the frequency doubled CO 2 beam which is obtained using a high 2nd harmonic conversion efficiency orientation patterned gallium arsenide crystal. The measured standard deviation of the line integrated electron density equivalent phase resolution obtained with digital phase demodulation technique, is 4 × 10 17 m –2. Air flow was found to significantly affect the baseline of the phasemore » signal, which an optical table cover was able to reduce considerably. The heterodyne dispersion interferometer (DI) approach is found to be robustly insensitive to motion, with measured phase shifts below baseline drifts even in the presence of several centimeters of retroreflector induced path length variations. Plasma induced dispersion was simulated with a wedged ZnSe plate and the measured DI phase shifts are consistent with expectations.« less
  2. Here, the Far-infrared Tangential Interferometer/Polarimeter (FIReTIP) system has been refurbished and is being reinstalled on the National Spherical Torus Experiment—Upgrade (NSTX-U) to supply real-time line-integrated core electron density measurements for use in the NSTX-U plasma control system (PCS) to facilitate real-time density feedback control of the NSTX-U plasma. Inclusion of a visible light heterodyne interferometer in the FIReTIP system allows for real-time vibration compensation due to movement of an internally mounted retroreflector and the FIReTIP front-end optics. Real-time signal correction is achieved through use of a National Instruments CompactRIO field-programmable gate array.
  3. The electromagnetic coupling of helical modes, including those having different toroidal mode numbers, modifies the distribution of toroidal angular momentum in tokamak discharges. This can have deleterious effects on other transport channels as well as on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) stability and disruptivity. At low levels of externally injected momentum, the coupling of core-localized modes initiates a chain of events, whereby flattening of the core rotation profile inside successive rational surfaces leads to the onset of a large m/n = 2/1 tearing mode and locked-mode disruption. Furthermore, with increased torque from neutral beam injection, neoclassical tearing modes in the core may phase-lockmore » to each other without locking to external fields or structures that are stationary in the laboratory frame. The dynamic processes observed in these cases are in general agreement with theory, and detailed diagnosis allows for momentum transport analysis to be performed, revealing a significant torque density that peaks near the 2/1 rational surface. However, as the coupled rational surfaces are brought closer together by reducing q95, additional momentum transport in excess of that required to attain a phase-locked state is sometimes observed. Rather than maintaining zero differential rotation (as is predicted to be dynamically stable by single-fluid, resistive MHD theory), these discharges develop hollow toroidal plasma fluid rotation profiles with reversed plasma flow shear in the region between the m/n = 3/2 and 2/1 islands. Additional forces expressed in this state are not readily accounted for, and therefore, analysis of these data highlights the impact of mode coupling on torque balance and the challenges associated with predicting the rotation dynamics of a fusion reactor-a key issue for ITER. Published by AIP Publishing.« less
  4. Here, recent experiments in DIII-D have led to the discovery of a means of modifying edge turbulence to achieve stationary, high confinement operation without Edge Localized Mode (ELM) instabilities and with no net external torque input. Eliminating the ELM-induced heat bursts and controlling plasma stability at low rotation represent two of the great challenges for fusion energy. By exploiting edge turbulence in a novel manner, we achieved excellent tokamak performance, well above the H 98y2 international tokamak energy confinement scaling (H 98y2=1.25), thus meeting an additional confinement challenge that is usually difficult at low torque. The new regime is triggeredmore » in double null plasmas by ramping the injected torque to zero and then maintaining it there. This lowers ExB rotation shear in the plasma edge, allowing low-k, broadband, electromagnetic turbulence to increase. In the H-mode edge, a narrow transport barrier usually grows until MHD instability (a peeling ballooning mode) leads to the ELM heat burst. However, the increased turbulence reduces the pressure gradient, allowing the development of a broader and thus higher transport barrier. A 60% increase in pedestal pressure and 40% increase in energy confinement result. An increase in the ExB shearing rate inside of the edge pedestal is a key factor in the confinement increase. Strong double-null plasma shaping raises the threshold for the ELM instability, allowing the plasma to reach a transport-limited state near but below the explosive ELM stability boundary. The resulting plasmas have burning-plasma-relevant β N=1.6-1.8 and run without the need for extra torque from 3D magnetic fields. To date, stationary conditions have been produced for 2 s or 12 energy confinement times, limited only by external hardware constraints. Stationary operation with improved pedestal conditions is highly significant for future burning plasma devices, since operation without ELMs at low rotation and good confinement is key for fusion energy production.« less
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