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  1. Initial tests on the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) (Menard et al 2012 Nucl. Fusion 083015) device suggest that introducing energy selectivity for sawtooth induced fast ion redistribution is required to improve the agreement between experimental and simulated quantities such as neutron rate and Fast-Ion D-Alpha profiles. The aim of this work is to assess the requirements to properly describe the behaviour of fast ions during a sawtooth crash for predictive sawtooth simulations. As the first step, in this work, we use the particle-following Orbit code to characterize the redistribution of fast particles. In order for a sawtooth crashmore » to be simulated, a spatial and temporal displacement is implemented into the Orbit code. The perturbation amplitude is determined by comparison with experimental measurement of the neutron rate drop. The characteristics of fast ions with different orbit types are investigated in phase and real space. Due to a sawtooth crash, fast ion energy and angular momentum are modified resulting in the redistribution in phase space and orbit type change. The redistribution of fast ions in real space shows that the sawtooth instability brings different effect on fast particles with different orbit types as observed in experiments. Finally, the initial interpretative Transp simulation using the so-called kick model based on the Orbit modeling result shows an improvement of fast ion redistribution before and after a sawtooth crash but the neutron rate still has discrepancy compared to the experimental measurement.« less
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  2. During the 2016 experimental campaign of NSTX-U (Menard et al 2012 Nucl. Fusion 52 083015), long L-mode and reproducible sawtoothing plasmas have been achieved that were previously not accessible before the upgrade. This provides a good opportunity to study the effect of sawtooth crashes on fast ion confinement and redistribution in spherical tokamaks. The solid-state neutral particle analyzer (SSNPA) and fast ion D-alpha (FIDA) diagnostics on NSTX-U each have a tangentially-viewing instrument and a radially- or vertically-viewing instrument, which are mainly sensitive to passing and trapped fast ions, respectively. It has been observed on both diagnostics that passing particles aremore » strongly expelled from the plasma core to the edge during sawtooth crashes, while trapped fast ions are weakly affected. The tangentially-viewing SSNPA observes large signal spikes at the sawtooth crashes because fast ions move to the edge and charge exchange with edge neutrals. The radially-viewing SSNPA data suggest that there is a small drop of trapped particles in the core. The tangentially-viewing FIDA (t-FIDA) system observes a depletion as large as 25% in the region inside the inversion radius, while an increase at the outer region. There is almost no change in the signals of the vertically-viewing FIDA system. The neutron emission can drop as much as 15% at the sawtooth crashes, accompanied by an increase of edge D α light. Simulations with the Kadomstev and Porcelli sawtooth models have also been performed and compared with the measurements. The full reconnection Kadomtsev model overestimates the neutron rate drop at each sawtooth crash. When tuning the sawtooth input parameters, the partial reconnection Porcelli sawtooth model can qualitatively reproduce the neutron rate drop and t-FIDA signal drop in the core, but it fails to predict the t-FIDA signal increase at the edge.« less
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  3. The burning plasma performance is limited by the confinement of the super-alfvénic fusion products such as alpha particles and the auxiliary heating ions capable of exciting the Alfvénic eigenmodes (AEs) (Gorelenkov et al 2014 Nucl. Fusion 54 125001). Here in this work the effect of AEs on fast ions is formulated within the quasi-linear (QL) theory generalized for this problem recently (Duarte 2017 PhD Thesis University of São Paulo, Brazil). The generalization involves the resonance line broadened interaction of energetic particles (EP) with AEs supplemented by the diffusion coefficients depending on EP position in the velocity space. A new resonancemore » broadened QL code (or RBQ1D) based on this formulation allowing for EP diffusion in radial direction is built and presented in details. In RBQ1D applications we reduce the wave particle interaction (WPI) dynamics to 1D case when the particle kinetic energy is nearly constant. The diffusion equation for EP distribution evolution is then solved simultaneously for all particles along the angular momentum direction. We make initial applications of the RBQ1D to a DIII-D plasma with elevated q-profile where the beam ions show stiff transport properties (Collins et al (The DIII-D Team) 2016 Phys. Rev. Lett. 116 095001). In conclusion, AE driven fast ion profile relaxation is studied for validations of the QL approach in realistic conditions of beam ion driven instabilities in DIII-D.« less
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  4. The spherical tokamak NSTX has been upgraded to include a second neutral beam line, with three independent beam sources, and to be capable of higher toroidal fields and longer duration plasmas [Ono, et al., Nucl. Fusion 55 (2015) 073007]. In this paper we describe some of the initial observations of the affect that the higher field and the modified fast-ion distributions have had on the nature of the global Alfvén eigenmodes (GAE). We also report that the GAE excited through a Doppler-shifted ion cyclotron resonance (DCR) were suppressed in a large number of shots with the injection of a smallmore » amount of high pitch (V ||/V) fast ions, consistent with the predictions of an analytic theory [Gorelenkov, et al., Nucl. Fusion 43 (2003) 228]. We show that the experimental scaling of the GAE frequency and toroidal mode numbers with toroidal field is qualitatively consistent with the predictions of the analytic theory, providing validation for the DCR model. The observed suppression of GAE has also been reproduced in simulations with the hybrid ideal stability code HYM [Belova, et al., Phys. Plasmas 24 (2017), 042505].« less
  5. Here, an engineering upgrade to the neutral beam system at the DIII-D tokamak enables time-dependent programming of the beam voltage and current. Initial application of this capability involves pre-programmed beam voltage and current injected into plasmas that are known to be susceptible to instabilities that are driven by energetic (E ≥ 40 keV) beam ions. These instabilities, here all Alfvén eigenmodes (AEs), increase the transport of the beam ions beyond a classical expectation based on particle drifts and collisions. Injecting neutral beam power, P beam ≥ 2MW, at reduced voltage with increased current reduces the drive for Alfvénic instabilities andmore » results in improved ion confinement. In lower-confinement plasmas, this technique is applied to eliminate the presence of AEs across the mid-radius of the plasmas. Simulations of those plasmas indicate that the mode drive is decreased and the radial extent of the remaining modes is reduced compared to a higher beam voltage case. In higher-confinement plasmas, this technique reduces AE activity in the far edge and results in an interesting scenario of beam current drive improving as the beam voltage reduces from 80 kV to 65 kV.« less
  6. 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
  7. Injection of high-energy neutrals is a common tool to heat the plasma and drive current non-inductively in fusion devices. Once neutrals ionize, the resulting energetic particles can drive instabilities that are detrimental for the performance and the predictability of plasma discharges. A broad deposition profile of neutrals from neutral beam injection, e.g. by aiming the beam tangentially on the outboard midplane (i.e. off-axis), is often assumed to limit those undesired effects by reducing the radial gradient of the EP density, thus reducing the drive for instabilities. However, this paper presents new evidence that tangential neutral beam injection, including off-axis injectionmore » near the plasma mid-radius, can also lead to undesired effects such as the destabilization of Alfvénic instabilities. Time-dependent analysis with the TRANSP code indicates that instabilities are driven by a combination of radial and energy gradients in the distribution function of the energetic particles. Finally, the mechanisms for wave-particle interaction revealed by the energetic particle phase space resolved analysis are the basis to identify strategies to mitigate or suppress the observed instabilities.« less
  8. Rare Alfvénic wave transitions between fixed-frequency and chirping phases are identified in NSTX, where Alfvénic waves are normally observed to exhibit either chirping or avalanching responses. For those transitions, we apply in this paper a criterion (Duarte et al 2017 Nucl. Fusion 57 054001) to predict the nature of fast ion redistribution in tokamaks to be in the convective or diffusive nonlinear regimes. For NSTX discharges in which the transition is not accompanied by changes in the beam deposited power or modifications in the injected radiofrequency power, it has been found that the anomalous fast ion transport is a likelymore » mediator of the bifurcation between the fixed-frequency mode behavior and rapid chirping. For a quantitative assessment, global gyrokinetic simulations of the effects of electrostatic ion temperature gradient turbulence and trapped electron mode turbulence on chirping were pursued using the GTS code. The investigation is extended by means of predictive studies of the probable spectral behavior of Alfvénic eigenmodes for baseline ITER cases consisting of elmy, advanced and hybrid scenarios. Finally, it has been observed that most modes are found to be borderline between the steady and the chirping phases.« less
  9. 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
    Cited by 1
  10. 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

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