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Title: Modelling of three dimensional equilibrium and stability of MAST plasmas with magnetic perturbations using VMEC and COBRA

It is known that magnetic perturbations can mitigate edge localized modes (ELMs) in experiments, for example, MAST [Kirk et al., Nucl. Fusion 53, 043007 (2013)]. One hypothesis is that the magnetic perturbations cause a three dimensional corrugation of the plasma and this corrugated plasma has different stability properties to peeling-ballooning modes compared to an axisymmetric plasma. It has been shown in an up-down symmetric plasma that magnetic perturbations in tokamaks will break the usual axisymmetry of the plasma causing three dimensional displacements [Chapman et al., Plasma Phys. Controlled Fusion 54, 105013 (2012)]. We produce a free boundary three-dimensional equilibrium of a lower single null MAST relevant plasma using VMEC [S. P. Hirshman and J. C. Whitson, Phys. Fluids 26, 3553 (1983)]. The safety factor and pressure profiles used for the modelling are similar to those deduced from axisymmetric analysis of experimental data with ELMs. We focus on the effect of applying n = 3 and n = 6 magnetic perturbations using the resonant magnetic perturbation (RMP) coils. A midplane displacement of over ±1 cm is seen when the full current is applied. The current in the coils is scanned and a linear relationship between coil current and midplane displacement is found. The pressure gradient inmore » real space in different toroidal locations is shown to change when RMPs are applied. This effect should be taken into account when diagnosing plasmas with RMPs applied. The helical Pfirsch-Schlüter currents which arise as a result of the assumption of nested flux surfaces are estimated for this equilibrium. The effect of this non-axisymmetric equilibrium on infinite n ballooning stability is investigated using COBRA [Sanchez et al., J. Comput. Phys. 161, 576–588 (2000)]. The infinite n ballooning stability is analysed for two reasons; it may give an indication of the effect of non-axisymmetry on finite n peeling-ballooning modes, responsible for ELMs; and infinite n ballooning modes are correlated to kinetic ballooning modes which are thought to limit the pressure gradient of the pedestal [Snyder et al., Phys. Plasmas 16, 056118 (2009)]. The ballooning mode growth rate gains a variation in toroidal angle. The equilibria with midplane displacements due to RMP coils have a higher ballooning mode growth rate than the axisymmetric case and the possible implications are discussed.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. CCFE, Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3DB (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22299672
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 EURATOM; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; AXIAL SYMMETRY; BALLOONING INSTABILITY; CURRENTS; EDGE LOCALIZED MODES; MAGNETIC SURFACES; MAST TOKAMAK; PLASMA; PLASMA SIMULATION; PRESSURE GRADIENTS; STABILITY