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  1. This paper examines a method for real-time control of non-inductively sustained scenarios in NSTX-U by using TRANSP, a time-dependent integrated modeling code for prediction and interpretive analysis of tokamak experimental data, as a simulator. The actuators considered for control in this work are the six neutral beam sources and the plasma boundary shape. To understand the response of the plasma current, stored energy, and central safety factor to these actuators and to enable systematic design of control algorithms, simulations were run in which the actuators were modulated and a linearized dynamic response model was generated. A multi-variable model-based control schememore » that accounts for the coupling and slow dynamics of the system while mitigating the effect of actuator limitations was designed and simulated. Simulations show that modest changes in the outer gap and heating power can improve the response time of the system, reject perturbations, and track target values of the controlled values.« less
  2. The high-performance operational goals of NSTX-U will require development of advanced feedback control algorithms, including control of ßN and the safety factor profile. In this work, a novel approach to simultaneously controlling ßN and the value of the safety factor on the magnetic axis, q0, through manipulation of the plasma boundary shape and total beam power, is proposed. Simulations of the proposed scheme show promising results and motivate future experimental implementation and eventual integration into a more complex current profile control scheme planned to include actuation of individual beam powers, density, and loop voltage. As part of this work, amore » flexible framework for closed loop simulations within the high-fidelity code TRANSP was developed. The framework, used here to identify control-design-oriented models and to tune and test the proposed controller, exploits many of the predictive capabilities of TRANSP and provides a means for performing control calculations based on user-supplied data (controller matrices, target waveforms, etc.). The flexible framework should enable high-fidelity testing of a variety of control algorithms, thereby reducing the amount of expensive experimental time needed to implement new control algorithms on NSTX-U and other devices.« less
  3. 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
  4. The additional computing power offered by the planned exascale facilities could be transformational across the spectrum of plasma and fusion research — provided that the new architectures can be efficiently applied to our problem space. The collaboration that will be required to succeed should be viewed as an opportunity to identify and exploit cross-disciplinary synergies. To assess the opportunities and requirements as part of the development of an overall strategy for computing in the exascale era, the Exascale Requirements Review meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) community was convened January 27–29, 2016, with participation from a broad range ofmore » fusion and plasma scientists, specialists in applied mathematics and computer science, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its major computing facilities. This report is a summary of that meeting and the preparatory activities for it and includes a wealth of detail to support the findings. Technical opportunities, requirements, and challenges are detailed in this report (and in the recent report on the Workshop on Integrated Simulation). Science applications are described, along with mathematical and computational enabling technologies. Also see http://exascaleage.org/fes/ for more information.« less
  5. 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, H-Mode accessed, magnetic error fields identified and mitigated, and the first physics research campaign carried out. During 10 run weeks of operation, NSTX-U surpassed NSTX-record pulse-durations and toroidal fields, and high-performance ~1MA 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 multiplier H98y2 above 1. Transport and turbulencemore » 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 (DECAF) code. Lastly, the Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) 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
  6. Our work discusses sources of uncertainty in the validation of lower hybrid wave current drive simulations against experiments, by evolving self-consistently the magnetic equilibrium and the heating and current drive profiles, calculated with a combined toroidal ray tracing code and 3D Fokker–Planck solver. The simulations indicate a complex interplay of elements, where uncertainties in the input plasma parameters, in the models and in the transport solver combine and compensate each other, at times. It is concluded that ray-tracing calculations should include a realistic representation of the density and temperature in the region between the confined plasma and the wall, whichmore » is especially important in regimes where the LH waves are weakly damped and undergo multiple reflections from the plasma boundary. Uncertainties introduced in the processing of diagnostic data as well as uncertainties introduced by model approximations are assessed. We show that, by comparing the evolution of the plasma parameters in self-consistent simulations with available data, inconsistencies can be identified and limitations in the models or in the experimental data assessed.« less
  7. A model-based feedback system is presented to control plasma rotation in a magnetically confined toroidal fusion device, to maintain plasma stability for long-pulse operation. This research uses experimental measurements from the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) and is aimed at controlling plasma rotation using two different types of actuation: momentum from injected neutral beams and neoclassical toroidal viscosity generated by three-dimensional applied magnetic fields. Based on the data-driven model obtained, a feedback controller is designed, and predictive simulations using the TRANSP plasma transport code show that the controller is able to attain desired plasma rotation profiles given practical constraints onmore » the actuators and the available measurements of rotation.« less
  8. One of the goals of the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) (Menard et al 2012 Nucl. Fusion 52 083015) is the demonstration of fully non-inductive start-up, current ramp-up and sustainment. This work discusses predictive simulations where the available heating and current drive systems are combined to maximize the non-inductive current and minimize the solenoidal contribution. Radio-frequency waves at harmonics higher than the ion cyclotron resonance (high-harmonic fast waves (HHFW)) and neutral beam injection are used to ramp the plasma current non-inductively starting from an initial Ohmic plasma. An interesting synergy is observed in the simulations between the HHFW andmore » electron cyclotron (EC) wave heating. Furthermore, time-dependent simulations indicate that, depending on the phasing of the HHFW antenna, EC wave heating can significantly increase the effectiveness of the radio-frequency power, by heating the electrons and increasing the current drive efficiency, thus relaxing the requirements on the level of HHFW power that needs to be absorbed in the core plasma to drive the same amount of fast-wave current.« less
  9. A thin film solar cell and a method fabricating thin film solar cells on flexible substrates. The method includes including providing a flexible polymeric substrate, depositing a photovoltaic precursor on a surface of the substrate, such as CdTe, ZrTe, CdZnTe, CdSe or Cu(In,Ga)Se.sub.2, and exposing the photovoltaic precursor to at least one 0.5 microsecond to 10 second pulse of predominately infrared light emitted from a light source having a power output of about 20,000 W/cm.sup.2 or less to thermally convert the precursor into a crystalline photovoltaic material having a photovoltaic efficiency of greater than one percent, the conversion being carriedmore » out without substantial damage to the substrate.« less
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