skip to main content

Title: Characterization of the onset of ion cyclotron parametric decay instability of lower hybrid waves in a diverted tokamak

The goal of the lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) program on Alcator C-Mod is to develop and optimize reactor-relevant steady-state plasmas by controlling current density profile. However, current drive efficiency precipitously decreases as the line averaged density (n{sup ¯}{sub e}) increases above ∼1 × 10{sup 20} m{sup −3}. Previous simulations show that the observed loss of current drive efficiency in high density plasmas stems from the interactions of LH waves with edge/scrape-off layer plasmas [Wallace et al., Phys. Plasmas 19, 062505 (2012)]. A recent observation [Baek et al., Plasma Phys. Controlled Fusion 55, 052001 (2013)] shows that the configuration dependent ion cyclotron parametric decay instability (PDI) is excited in the density range where the discrepancy between the experiments and simulations remains. Comparing the observed spectra with the homogeneous growth rate spectra indicates that the observed ion cyclotron PDI can be excited not only at the low-field-side but also at the high-field-side (HFS) edge of the tokamak. The model analysis shows that a relevant PDI process to Alcator C-Mod LHCD experiments is decay into ion cyclotron quasi-mode driven by parallel coupling. The underlying cause of the observed onset of ion cyclotron PDI is likely due to the weaker radial penetration of the LH wavemore » in high density plasmas, which can lead to enhanced convective growth. Configuration-dependent PDIs are found to be correlated with different edge density profiles in different magnetic configurations. While the HFS edge of the tokamak can be potentially susceptible to PDI, as evidenced by experimental observations and ray-tracing analyses, enhancing single-pass absorption is expected to help recover the LHCD efficiency at reactor-relevant densities because it could suppress several parasitic loss mechanisms that are exacerbated in multi-pass regimes.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)
  2. University of Tokyo, Kashiwa 277-8561 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22299954
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ALCATOR DEVICE; CURRENT DENSITY; DECAY INSTABILITY; LOWER HYBRID CURRENT DRIVE; LOWER HYBRID HEATING; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA SCRAPE-OFF LAYER; SIMULATION