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Author ORCID ID is 0000000349750585
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  1. Modulation of various neutral beam sources probes the interaction of fast ions with tearing modes (TM) in the DIII-D tokamak. As measured by electron cyclotron emission, the (m,n) = (2,1) tearing modes have an island width of ~8 cm and change phase 180 at the q = 2 surface. (Here, m is the poloidal mode number and n is the toroidal mode number.) Deuterium neutral beam injection by six sources with differing injection geometries produces the fast ions. To study the interaction in different parts of phase space, on successive discharges, one of the six sources is modulated at 20more » Hz to populate different fast-ion orbits. The modulation only changes the island width by a few millimeters, implying that any fast-ion effect on mode stability is below detection limits. When compared to the expected signals in the absence of TM-induced transport, both the average and modulated neutron signals deviate, implying that fast-ion transport occurs in much of phase space. Fast-ion D-α (FIDA) measurements detect reductions in signal at wavelengths that are sensitive to counter-passing ions. Neutral particle analyzer data imply poor confinement of trapped fast ions. Lastly, calculations of the expected fast-ion transport that use measured TM properties successfully reproduce the data.« less
  2. The National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) will advance the physics basis required for achieving steady-state, high-beta, and high-confinement conditions in a tokamak by accessing high toroidal field (1 T) and plasma current (1.0 - 2.0 MA) in a low aspect ratio geometry (A = 1.6 - 1.8) with flexible auxiliary heating systems (12 MW NBI, 6 MW HHFW). This paper describes progress in the development of L- and Hmode discharge scenarios and the commissioning of operational tools in the first ten weeks of operation that enable the scientific mission of NSTX-U. Vacuum field calculations completed prior to operations supportedmore » the rapid development and optimization of inductive breakdown at different values of ohmic solenoid current. The toroidal magnetic field (BT0 = 0.65 T) exceeded the maximum values achieved on NSTX and novel long-pulse L-mode discharges with regular sawtooth activity exceeded the longest pulses produced on NSTX (tpulse > 1.8s). The increased flux of the central solenoid facilitated the development of stationary L-mode discharges over a range of density and plasma current (Ip). H-mode discharges achieved similar levels of stored energy, confinement (H98y,2 > 1) and stability (βN/βN-nowall > 1) compared to NSTX discharges for Ip ≤ 1 MA. High-performance H-mode scenarios require an L-H transition early in the Ip ramp-up phase in order to obtain low internal inductance (li) throughout the discharge, which is conducive to maintaining vertical stability at high elongation (κ > 2.2) and achieving long periods of MHD quiescent operations. The rapid progress in developing L- and H-mode scenarios in support of the scientific program was enabled by advances in real-time plasma control, efficient error field identification and correction, effective conditioning of the graphite wall and excellent diagnostic availability.« less
  3. On National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade, the passive fast-ion D-alpha (passive-FIDA) spectra from charge exchange (CX) between the beam ions and the background neutrals are measured and simulated. The results indicate that the passive-FIDA signal is measurable and comparable to the active-FIDA on several channels, such as at the major radius R = 117 cm. For this, active-FIDA means the active D-alpha emission from the fast ions that CX with the injected neutrals. The shapes of measured spectra are in agreement with FIDASIM simulations on many fibers. Furthermore, the passive-FIDA spatial profile agrees with the simulation. When making measurements ofmore » active-FIDA in the edge region using time-slice subtraction, variations in the passive-FIDA contribution to the signal should be considered.« less
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
    Cited by 1
  7. 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
    Cited by 3
  8. 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

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