Linear and nonlinear kinetic-MHD hybrid simulations have been carried out to investigate linear stability and nonlinear dynamics of beam-driven fishbone instability in spherical tokamak plasmas. Realistic NSTX parameters with finite toroidal rotation were used. The results show that the fishbone is driven by both trapped and passing particles. The instability drive of passing particles is comparable to that of trapped particles in the linear regime. The effects of rotation are destabilizing and a new region of instability appears at higher qmin (>1.5) values, qmin being the minimum of safety factor profile. In the nonlinear regime,
the mode saturates due to flattening of beam ion distribution, and this persists after initial saturation while mode frequency chirps down in such a way that the resonant trapped particles move out radially and keep in resonance with the mode. Correspondingly, the flattening region of beam ion distribution expands radially outward. A substantial fraction of initially non- resonant trapped particles become resonant around the time of mode saturation and keep in resonance with the mode as frequency chirps down. On the other hand, the fraction of resonant passing particles is significantly smaller than that of trapped particles. Our analysis shows that trapped particles provide the main drive to the mode in the nonlinear regime.
A quasi-coherent mode with frequency f = 40 kHz is observed in Ohmic plasmas in NSTX with the gas puff imaging diagnostic (GPI). This mode is located predominantly just inside the separatrix, with a maximum fluctuation amplitude similar to that of the broadband turbulence in the same frequency range. The quasi-coherent mode has a poloidal wavelength 16 cm and a poloidal velocity 49 km/s in the electron diamagnetic direction, which are similar to the characteristics expected from a linear drift-wave like mode in the edge.
In one popular description of the L-H transition, energy transfer to the mean flows directly depletes turbulence fluctuation energy, resulting in suppression of the turbulence and a corresponding transport bifurcation. However, electron parallel force balance couples nonzonal velocity fluctuations with electron pressure fluctuations on rapid timescales, comparable with the electron transit time. For this reason, energy in the nonzonal velocity stays in a fairly fixed ratio to the free energy in electron density fluctuations, at least for frequency scales much slower than electron transit. In order for direct depletion of the energy in turbulent fluctuations to cause the L-H transition, energy transfer via Reynolds stress must therefore drain enough energy to significantly reduce the sum of the free energy in nonzonal velocities and electron pressure fluctuations. At low k, the electron thermal free energy is much larger than the energy in nonzonal velocities, posing a stark challenge for this model of the L-H transition.
Carlsson, J.; Wilson, J.R.; Hosea, J.; Greenough, N.; Perkins, R.
Third-order spectral analysis, in particular the auto bicoherence, was applied to probe signals from high-harmonic fast-wave heating experiments in the National Spherical Torus Experiment. Strong evidence was found for parametric decay of the 30 MHz radio-frequency (RF) pump wave, with a low-frequency daughter wave at 2.7 MHz, the local majority-ion cyclotron frequency. The primary decay modes have auto bicoherence values around 0.85, very close to the theoretical value of one, which corresponds to total phase coherence with the pump wave. The threshold RF pump power for onset of parametric decay was found to be between 200 kW and 400 kW.
Podesta, M.; M. Gorelenkova; E.D. Fredrickson; N.N. Gorelenkov
Integrated simulations of tokamak discharges typically rely on classical physics to model energetic particle (EP) dynamics. However, there are numerous cases in which energetic particles can suffer additional transport that is not classical in nature. Examples include transport by applied 3D magnetic perturbations and, more notably, by plasma instabilities. Focusing on the effects of instabilities, ad-hoc models can empirically reproduce increased transport, but the choice of transport coefficients is usually somehow arbitrary. New approaches based on physics-based reduced models are being developed to address those issues in a simplified way, while retaining a more correct treatment of resonant wave-particle interactions. The kick model implemented in the tokamak transport code TRANSP is an example of such reduced models. It includes modifications of the EP distribution by instabilities in real and velocity space, retaining correlations between transport in energy and space typical of resonant EP transport. The relevance of EP phase space modifications by instabilities is first discussed in terms of predicted fast ion distribution. Results are compared with those from a simple, ad-hoc diffusive model. It is then shown that the phase-space resolved model can also provide additional insight into important issues such as internal consistency of the simulations and mode stability through the analysis of the power exchanged between energetic particles and the instabilities.
Guttenfelder W.; S.M. Kaye; Y. Ren; W. Solomon; R.E. Bell; J. Candy; S.P. Gerhardt; B.P. LeBlanc; H. Yuh
This paper presents quasi-linear gyrokinetic predictions of the Coriolis momentum pinch for low aspect-ratio NSTX H-modes where previous experimental measurements were focused. Local, linear calculations predict that in the region of interest (just outside the mid-radius) of these relatively high-beta plasmas, profiles are most unstable to microtearing modes that are only effective in transporting electron energy. However, sub-dominant electromagnetic and electrostatic ballooning modes are also unstable, which are effective at transporting energy, particles and momentum. The quasi-linear prediction of transport from these weaker ballooning modes, assuming they contribute transport in addition to that from microtearing modes in a nonlinear turbulent state, leads to a very small or outward convection of momentum, inconsistent with the experimentally measured inward pinch, and opposite to predictions in conventional aspect ratio tokamaks. Additional predictions of a low beta L-mode plasma, unstable to more traditional electrostatic ion temperature gradient-trapped electron mode instability, show that the Coriolis pinch is inward but remains relatively weak and insensitive to many parameter variations. The weak or outward pinch predicted in NSTX plasmas appears to be at least partially correlated to changes in the parallel mode structure that occur at finite beta and low aspect ratio, as discussed in previous theories. The only conditions identified where a stronger inward pinch is predicted occur either in the purely electrostatic limit or if the aspect ratio is increased. As the Coriolis pinch cannot explain the measured momentum pinch, additional theoretical momentum transport mechanisms are discussed that may be potentially important.
Myers, Clayton; Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, Hantao; Yoo, Jongsoo; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Fox, William
Solar eruptions are often driven by magnetohydrodynamic instabilities such as the torus and kink instabilities that act on line-tied magnetic flux ropes. Recent laboratory experiments designed to study these eruptive instabilities have demonstrated the key role of both dynamic (Myers et al 2015 Nature 528, 526) and quasi-static (Myers et al 2016 Phys. Plasmas, in press) magnetic tension forces in contributing to the equilibrium and stability of line-tied magnetic flux ropes. In this paper, we synthesize these laboratory results and explore the relationship between the dynamic and quasi-static tension forces. While the quasi-static tension force is found to contribute to the flux rope equilibrium in a number of regimes, the dynamic tension force is substantial mostly in the so-called failed torus regime where magnetic self-organization events prevent the flux rope from erupting.
A radiative divertor technique is planned for the NSTX-U tokamak to prevent excessive erosion and thermal damage of divertor plasma-facing components in H-mode plasma discharges with auxiliary heating up to 12 MW.
In the radiative (partially detached) divertor, extrinsically seeded deuterium or impurity gases are used to increase
plasma volumetric power and momentum losses.
A real-time feedback control of the gas seeding rate is planned for discharges of up to 5 s duration.
The outer divertor leg plasma electron temperature Te estimated spectroscopically in real time will be used as a control parameter.
A vacuum ultraviolet spectrometer McPherson Model 251 with a fast charged-coupled device detector is developed for temperature monitoring between 5 and 30 eV, based on the delta n=0;1 line intensity ratios of carbon, nitrogen or neon ions lines in the spectral range 300 to 1600 A.
A collisional-radiative model-based line intensity ratio will be used for relative calibration.
A real-time Te-dependent signal within a characteristic divertor detachment equilibration time of ~ 10-15 ms is expected.
We measure the coherent Rayleigh-Brillouin scattering (CRBS) signal integral as a function of the recorded gas pressure in He, Co2, SF6, and air, and we confirm the already established quadratic dependence of the signal on the gas density. We propose the use of CRBS as an effective diagnostic for the remote measurement of gas’ density (pressure) and temperature, as well as polarizability, for gases of known composition.
Heating magnetically confined plasmas using waves in the ion-cyclotron range of frequencies typically requires coupling these waves over a steep density gradient. This process has produced an unexpected and deleterious phenomenon on the National Spherical Torus eXperiment (NSTX): a prompt loss of wave power along magnetic field lines in front of the antenna to the divertor. Understanding this loss may be key to achieving effective heating and expanding the operational space of NSTX-Upgrade. Here, we propose that a new type of mode, which conducts a significant fraction of the total wave power in the low-density peripheral plasma, is driving these losses. We demonstrate the existence of such modes, which are distinct from surface modes and coaxial modes, in a cylindrical cold-plasma model when a half wavelength structure fits into the region outside the core plasma. The latter condition generalizes the previous hypothesis regarding the occurence of the edge losses and may explain why full-wave simulations predict these losses in some cases but not others. If valid, this condition implies that outer gap control is a potential strategy for mitigating the losses in NSTX-Upgrade in addition to raising the magnetic field or influencing the edge density.