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  1. Alfvén waves can induce the ejection of fast ions in different forms in tokamaks. In order to develop predictive capabilities to anticipate the nature of fast ion transport, a methodology is proposed to differentiate the likelihood of energetic-particle-driven instabilities to produce frequency chirping or fixed-frequency oscillations. Furthermore, the proposed method employs numerically calculated eigenstructures and multiple resonance surfaces of a given mode in the presence of energetic ion drag and stochasticity (due to collisions and micro-turbulence). Toroidicity-induced, reversed-shear and beta-induced Alfvén-acoustic eigenmodes are used as examples. Waves measured in experiments are characterized, and compatibility is found between the proposed criterionmore » predictions and the experimental observation or lack of observation of chirping behavior of Alfvénic modes in different tokamaks. It is found that the stochastic diffusion due to micro-turbulence can be the dominant energetic particle detuning mechanism near the resonances in many plasma experiments, and its strength is the key as to whether chirping solutions are likely to arise. We proposed a criterion that constitutes a useful predictive tool in assessing whether the nature of the transport for fast ion losses in fusion devices will be dominated by convective or diffusive processes.« less
  2. Alfvénic instabilities (AEs) are well known as a potential cause of enhanced fast ion transport in fusion devices. Given a specific plasma scenario, quantitative predictions of (i) expected unstable AE spectrum and (ii) resulting fast ion transport are required to prevent or mitigate the AE-induced degradation in fusion performance. Reduced models are becoming an attractive tool to analyze existing scenarios as well as for scenario prediction in time-dependent simulations. Here, in this work, a neutral beam heated NSTX discharge is used as reference to illustrate the potential of a reduced fast ion transport model, known as kick model, that hasmore » been recently implemented for interpretive and predictive analysis within the framework of the time-dependent tokamak transport code TRANSP. Predictive capabilities for AE stability and saturation amplitude are first assessed, based on given thermal plasma profiles only. Predictions are then compared to experimental results, and the interpretive capabilities of the model further discussed. Overall, the reduced model captures the main properties of the instabilities and associated effects on the fast ion population. Finally, additional information from the actual experiment enables further tuning of the model's parameters to achieve a close match with measurements.« less
  3. In this paper we present data from experiments on the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade, where it is shown for the first time that small amounts of high pitch-angle beam ions can strongly suppress the counterpropagating global Alfven eigenmodes (GAE). GAE have been implicated in the redistribution of fast ions and modification of the electron power balance in previous experiments on NSTX. The ability to predict the stability of Alfven modes, and developing methods to control them, is important for fusion reactors like the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor, which are heated by a large population of nonthermal, super-Alfvenic ions consistingmore » of fusion generated alpha's and beam ions injected for current profile control. We present a qualitative interpretation of these observations using an analytic model of the Doppler-shifted ion-cyclotron resonance drive responsible for GAE instability which has an important dependence on k(perpendicular to rho L). A quantitative analysis of this data with the HYM stability code predicts both the frequencies and instability of the GAE prior to, and suppression of the GAE after the injection of high pitch-angle beam ions.« less
  4. The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) has undergone a major upgrade, and the NSTX Upgrade (NSTX-U) Project was completed in the summer of 2015. NSTX-U first plasma was subsequently achieved, diagnostic and control systems have been commissioned, the H-mode accessed, magnetic error fields identified and mitigated, and the first physics research campaign carried out. During ten run weeks of operation, NSTX-U surpassed NSTX record pulse-durations and toroidal fields (TF), and high-performance ~1 MA H-mode plasmas comparable to the best of NSTX have been sustained near and slightly above the n = 1 no-wall stability limit and with H-mode confinement multipliermore » H 98y,2 above 1. Transport and turbulence studies in L-mode plasmas have identified the coexistence of at least two ion-gyro-scale turbulent micro-instabilities near the same radial location but propagating in opposite (i.e. ion and electron diamagnetic) directions. These modes have the characteristics of ion-temperature gradient and micro-tearing modes, respectively, and the role of these modes in contributing to thermal transport is under active investigation. The new second more tangential neutral beam injection was observed to significantly modify the stability of two types of Alfven eigenmodes. Improvements in offline disruption forecasting were made in the areas of identification of rotating MHD modes and other macroscopic instabilities using the disruption event characterization and forecasting code. Finally, the materials analysis and particle probe was utilized on NSTX-U for the first time and enabled assessments of the correlation between boronized wall conditions and plasma performance. These and other highlights from the first run campaign of NSTX-U are described.« less
  5. At the power levels required for significant heating and current drive in magnetically-confined toroidal plasma, modification of the particle distribution function from a Maxwellian shape is likely (Stix 1975 Nucl. Fusion 15 737), with consequent changes in wave propagation and in the location and amount of absorption. In order to study these effects computationally, both the finite-Larmor-radius and the high-harmonic fast wave (HHFW), versions of the full-wave, hot-plasma toroidal simulation code TORIC (Brambilla 1999 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 41 1 and Brambilla 2002 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 44 2423), have been extended to allow the prescription of arbitrary velocity distributionsmore » of the form f(v(parallel to), v(perpendicular to) , psi, theta). For hydrogen (H) minority heating of a deuterium (D) plasma with anisotropic Maxwellian H distributions, the fractional H absorption varies significantly with changes in parallel temperature but is essentially independent of perpendicular temperature. On the other hand, for HHFW regime with anisotropic Maxwellian fast ion distribution, the fractional beam ion absorption varies mainly with changes in the perpendicular temperature. The evaluation of the wave-field and power absorption, through the full wave solver, with the ion distribution function provided by either a Monte-Carlo particle and Fokker-Planck codes is also examined for Alcator C-Mod and NSTX plasmas. Non-Maxwellian effects generally tend to increase the absorption with respect to the equivalent Maxwellian distribution.« less
    Cited by 1
  6. Here, we show that the degradation of fast-ion confinement in steady-state DIII-D discharges is quantitatively consistent with predictions based on the effects of multiple unstable Alfven eigenmodes on beam-ion transport. Simulation and experiment show that increasing the radius where the magnetic safety factor has its minimum is effective in minimizing beam-ion transport. This is favorable for achieving high performance steady-state operation in DIII-D and future reactors. A comparison between the experiments and a critical gradient model, in which only equilibrium profiles were used to predict the most unstable modes, show that in a number of cases this model reproduces themore » measured neutron rate well.« less
  7. Cited by 2
  8. A real-time velocity (RTV) diagnostic based on active charge-exchange recombination spectroscopy is now operational on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) spherical torus (Menard et al 2012 Nucl. Fusion 52 083015). We designed the system in order to supply plasma velocity data in real time to the NSTX-U plasma control system, as required for the implementation of toroidal rotation control. Our measurements are available from four radii at a maximum sampling frequency of 5 kHz. Post-discharge analysis of RTV data provides additional information on ion temperature, toroidal velocity and density of carbon impurities. Furthermore, examples of physics studies enabled bymore » RTV measurements from initial operations of NSTX-U are discussed.« less
  9. The redistribution and potential loss of energetic particles due to MHD modes can limit the performance of fusion plasmas by reducing the plasma heating rate. In this work, we present validation studies of the 1.5D critical gradient model (CGM) for Alfvén eigenmode (AE) induced EP transport in NSTX and DIII-D neutral beam heated plasmas. In previous comparisons with a single DIII-D L-mode case, the CGM model was found to be responsible for 75% of measured AE induced neutron deficit [1]. A fully kinetic HINST is used to compute mode stability for the non-perturbative version of CGM (or nCGM). We have found that AEs show strong local instability drive up tomore » $$\gamma /\omega \sim 20\%$$ violating assumptions of perturbative approaches used in NOVA-K code. Lastly, we demonstrate that both models agree with each other and both underestimate the neutron deficit measured in DIII-D shot by approximately a factor of 2.« less
  10. Observations on the National Spherical Torus eXperiment (NSTX) indicate that externally applied non-axisymmetric magnetic perturbations (MP) can reduce the amplitude of Toroidal Alfven Eigenmodes (TAE) and Global Alfven Eigenmodes (GAE) in response to pulsed n=3 non-resonant fields. From full-orbit following Monte Carlo simulations with the 1- and 2-fluid resistive MHD plasma response to the magnetic perturbation included, it was found that in response to MP pulses the fast-ion losses increased and the fast-ion drive for the GAEs was reduced. The MP did not affect the fast-ion drive for the TAEs significantly but the Alfven continuum at the plasma edge wasmore » found to be altered due to the toroidal symmetry breaking which leads to coupling of different toroidal harmonics. The TAE gap was reduced at the edge creating enhanced continuum damping of the global TAEs, which is consistent with the observations. Furthermore, the results suggest that optimized non-axisymmetric MP might be exploited to control and mitigate Alfven instabilities by tailoring the fast-ion distribution function and/or continuum structure.« less

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