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Edge Ion Heating by Launched High Harmonic Fast Waves in NSTX

Description: A new spectroscopic diagnostic on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) measures the velocity distribution of ions in the plasma edge simultaneously along both poloidal and toroidal views. An anisotropic ion temperature is measured during high-power high harmonic fast wave (HHFW) radio-frequency (rf) heating in helium plasmas, with the poloidal ion temperature roughly twice the toroidal ion temperature. Moreover, the measured spectral distribution suggests that two populations of ions are present and have temperatures of typically 500 eV and 50 eV with rotation velocities of -50 km/s and -10 km/s, respectively (predominantly perpendicular to the local magnetic field). This bi-modal distribution is observed in both the toroidal and poloidal views (for both He{sup +} and C{sup 2+} ions), and is well correlated with the period of rf power application to the plasma. The temperature of the hot component is observed to increase with the applied rf power, which was scanned between 0 and 4.3 MW . The 30 MHz HHFW launched by the NSTX antenna is expected and observed to heat core electrons, but plasma ions do not resonate with the launched wave, which is typically at >10th harmonic of the ion cyclotron frequency in the region of observation. A likely ion heating mechanism is parametric decay of the launched HHFW into an Ion Bernstein Wave (IBW). The presence of the IBW in NSTX plasmas during HHFW application has been directly confirmed with probe measurements. IBW heating occurs in the perpendicular ion distribution, consistent with the toroidal and poloidal observations. Calculations of IBW propagation indicate that multiple waves could be created in the parametric decay process, and that most of the IBW power would be absorbed in the outer 10 to 20 cm of the plasma, predominantly on fully stripped ions. These predictions are in qualitative agreement with the observations, ...
Date: December 1, 2004
Creator: Biewer, T.M.; Bell, R.E.; Diem, S.J.; Phillips, C.K.; Wilson, J.R. & Ryan, P.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of Electron Bernstein Wave (EBW) Coupling and its Critical Dependence on EBW Collisional Loss in High-β, H-mode ST Plasmas

Description: High-β spherical tokamak (ST) plasma conditions cut off propagation of electron cyclotron (EC) waves used for heating and current drive in conventional aspect ratio tokamaks. The electron Bernstein wave (EBW) has no density cutoff and is strongly absorbed and emitted at the EC harmonics, allowing EBWs to be used for heating and current drive in STs. However, this application requires efficient EBW coupling in the high-β, H-mode ST plasma regime. EBW emission (EBE) diagnostics and modelling have been employed on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) to study oblique EBW to O-mode (B–X–O) coupling and propagation in H-mode plasmas. Efficient EBW coupling was measured before the L–H transition, but rapidly decayed thereafter. EBE simulations show that EBW collisional damping prior to mode conversion (MC) in the plasma scrape off reduces the coupling efficiency during the H-mode phase when the electron temperature is less than 30 eV inside the MC layer. Lithium evaporation during H-mode plasmas was successfully used to reduce this EBW collisional damping by reducing the electron density and increase the electron temperature in the plasma scrape off. Lithium conditioning increased the measured B–X–O coupling efficiency from less than 10% to 60%, consistent with EBE simulations.
Date: February 3, 2010
Creator: Diem, S. J.; Caughman, J. B.; Efthimion, P. C.; Kugel, H.; LeBlanc, B. P.; Phillips, C. K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of EBW Thermal Emission and Mode Conversion Physics in H-Mode Plasmas on NSTX

Description: High β plasmas in the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) operate in the overdense regime, allowing the electron Bernstein wave (EBW) to propagate and be strongly absorbed/emitted at the electron cyclotron resonances. As such, EBWs may provide local electron heating and current drive. For these applications, efficient coupling between the EBWs and electromagnetic waves outside the plasma is needed. Thermal EBW emission (EBE) measurements, via oblique B-X-O double mode conversion, have been used to determine the EBW transmission efficiency for a wide range of plasma conditions on NSTX. Initial EBE measurements in H-mode plasmas exhibited strong emission before the L-H transition, but the emission rapidly decayed after the transition. EBE simulations show that collisional damping of the EBW prior to the mode conversion (MC) layer can significantly reduce the measured EBE for Te < 20 eV, explaining the observations. Lithium evaporation was used to reduce EBE collisional damping near the MC layer. As a result, the measured B-X-O transmission efficiency increased from < 10% (no Li) to 60% (with Li), consistent with EBE simulations.
Date: March 20, 2008
Creator: Diem, S. J.; Efthimion, P. C.; Kugel, H. W.; LeBlanc, B. P.; Phillips, C. K.; Caughman, J. B. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress Towards High Performance, Steady-state Spherical Torus

Description: Research on the Spherical Torus (or Spherical Tokamak) is being pursued to explore the scientific benefits of modifying the field line structure from that in more moderate aspect-ratio devices, such as the conventional tokamak. The Spherical Tours (ST) experiments are being conducted in various U.S. research facilities including the MA-class National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at Princeton, and three medium-size ST research facilities: Pegasus at University of Wisconsin, HIT-II at University of Washington, and CDX-U at Princeton. In the context of the fusion energy development path being formulated in the U.S., an ST-based Component Test Facility (CTF) and, ultimately a Demo device, are being discussed. For these, it is essential to develop high-performance, steady-state operational scenarios. The relevant scientific issues are energy confinement, MHD stability at high beta (B), noninductive sustainment, ohmic-solenoid-free start-up, and power and particle handling. In the confinement area, the NSTX experiments have shown that the confinement can be up to 50% better than the ITER-98-pby2 H-mode scaling, consistent with the requirements for an ST-based CTF and Demo. In NSTX, CTF-relevant average toroidal beta values bT of up to 35% with the near unity central betaT have been obtained. NSTX will be exploring advanced regimes where bT up to 40% can be sustained through active stabilization of resistive wall modes. To date, the most successful technique for noninductive sustainment in NSTX is the high beta-poloidal regime, where discharges with a high noninductive fraction ({approx}60% bootstrap current + neutral-beam-injected current drive) were sustained over the resistive skin time. Research on radio-frequency-based heating and current drive utilizing HHFW (High Harmonic Fast Wave) and EBW (Electron Bernstein Wave) is also pursued on NSTX, Pegasus, and CDX-U. For noninductive start-up, the Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI), developed in HIT/HIT-II, has been adopted on NSTX to test the method up to Ip {approx} ...
Date: October 2, 2003
Creator: Ono, M.; Bell, M.G.; Bell, R.E.; Bigelow, T.; Bitter, M.; Blanchard, W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status and Plans for the National Spherical Torus Experimental Research Facility

Description: An overview of the research capabilities and the future plans on the MA-class National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at Princeton is presented. NSTX research is exploring the scientific benefits of modifying the field line structure from that in more conventional aspect ratio devices, such as the tokamak. The relevant scientific issues pursued on NSTX include energy confinement, MHD stability at high beta, non-inductive sustainment, solenoid-free start-up, and power and particle handling. In support of the NSTX research goal, research tools are being developed by the NSTX team. In the context of the fusion energy development path being formulated in the US, an ST-based Component Test Facility (CTF) and, ultimately a high beta Demo device based on the ST, are being considered. For these, it is essential to develop high performance (high beta and high confinement), steady-state (non-inductively driven) ST operational scenarios and an efficient solenoid-free start-up concept. We will also briefly describe the Next-Step-ST (NSST) device being designed to address these issues in fusion-relevant plasma conditions.
Date: July 27, 2005
Creator: Columbia University
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department