Abstract: Tokamak plasma facing components have surface roughness that can cause microscopic spatial variations in erosion and deposition and hence influence material migration, erosion lifetime, dust and tritium accumulation, and plasma contamination. However high spatial resolution measurements of deposition on the scale of the surface roughness have been lacking to date. We will present elemental images of graphite samples from NSTX-U and DIII-D DiMES experiments performed with a Scanning Auger Microprobe at sub-micron resolution that show strong microscopic variations in deposition and correlate this with 3D topographical maps of surface irregularities. The NSTX-U samples were boronized and exposed to deuterium plasmas and the DiMES samples had localized Al and W films and were exposed to dedicated helium plasmas. Topographical maps of the samples were performed with a 3D confocal optical microscope and compared to the elemental deposition pattern. The results revealed localized deposition concentrated in areas shadowed from the ion flux, incident in a direction calculated (for the DiMES case) by taking account of the magnetic pre-sheath.
An important goal of stellarator optimization is to achieve good confinement of
energetic particles such as, in the case of a reactor, alphas created by Deuterium-Tritium
(D-T) fusion. In this work, a fixed-boundary stellarator equilibrium was re-optimized for
energetic particle confinement via a two-step process: first, by minimizing deviations from quasi-axisymmetry (QA) on a single flux surface near the mid-radius, and secondly by maintaining
this improved quasi-axisymmetry while minimizing the analytical quantity ΓC , which represents
the angle between magnetic flux surfaces and contours of J||, the second adiabatic invariant.
This was performed multiple times, resulting in a group of equilibria with significantly reduced
energetic particle losses, as evaluated by Monte Carlo simulations of alpha particles in scaled-up
versions of the equilibria. This is the first time that energetic particle losses in a QA stellarator
have successfully been reduced by optimizing ΓC . The relationship between energetic particle
losses and metrics such as QA error (Eqa) and ΓC in this set of equilibria were examined via
statistical methods and a nearly linear relationship between volume-averaged ΓC and prompt
particle losses was found.
Fully self-consistent hybrid MHD/particle simulations reveal strong energetic particle modifications to sub-cyclotron global Alfven eigenmodes (GAE) in low-aspect ratio, NSTX-like conditions. Key parameters defining the fast ion distribution function -- the normalized injection velocity v_0/v_A and central pitch -- are varied in order to study their influence on the characteristics of the excited modes. It is found that the frequency of the most unstable mode changes significantly and continuously with beam parameters, in accordance with the Doppler-shifted cyclotron resonances which drive the modes, and depending most substantially on v_0/v_A. This unexpected result is present for both counter-propagating GAEs, which are routinely excited in NSTX, and high frequency co-GAEs, which have not been previously studied. Large changes in frequency without clear corresponding changes in mode structure could indicate the existence of a new energetic particle mode, referred to here as an energetic-particle-modified GAE (EP-GAE). Additional simulations conducted for a fixed MHD equilibrium demonstrate that the GAE frequency shift cannot be explained by the equilibrium changes due to energetic particle effects.
Diallo, A.; Banerjee, S.; Zweben, S.; Stoltzfus-Dueck, T.
We studied the energy exchange dynamics across the low-to-high-confinement (L-H) in NSTX discharges using the gas-puff imaging (GPI) diagnotic. The investigation focused on the energy exchange between flows and turbulence, to help clarify the mechanism of the L-H transition. We apply this study to three type of heating schemes, including a total of 17 shots from the NSTX 2010 campaign run. Results show that the edge fluctuation characteristics (fluctuation levels, radial and poloidal correlation lengths) measured using GPI do not vary just prior to the H-mode transition, but change after the transition. Using a velocimetry approach (orthogonal-programming decomposition), velocity fields of a 24 $\times$ 30 cm GPI view during the L-H transition were obtained with good spatial ($\sim$1 cm) and temporal ($\sim$2.5 $\mu$s) resolutions. Analysis using these velocity fields shows that the production term is systematically negative just prior to the L-H transition indicating transfer from mean flows to turbulence, which is inconsistent with the predator-prey paradigm. Moreover, using the inferred absolute value of the production term, an estimate of the L-H transition duration is found to be 25 ms, which is much larger than the measured duration. These discrepancies are further reinforced by consideration of the ratio between the kinetic energy in the mean flow to the thermal free energy, which is estimated to be much less than 1, suggesting again that turbulence depletion mechanism may not be playing an important role in the transition to the H-mode. Although the Reynolds work is too small to directly deplete the turbulent free energy reservoir, order-of-magnitude analysis shows that the Reynolds stress may still make a non-negligible contribution to the observed poloidal flows.
The Enhanced Pedestal (EP) H-mode regime is an attractive wide-pedestal ELM-free high-betap scenario for NSTX-U and next-step devices as it achieves enhanced energy confinement (H98y,2 > 1.5), large normalized pressure (betaN > 5) and significant bootstrap fraction (f_BS > 0.6) at I_p/B_T = 2 MA/T. This regime is realized when the edge ion collisionality becomes sufficiently small that a positive feedback interaction occurs between a reduction in the ion neoclassical energy transport and an increase in the particle transport from pressure-driven edge instabilities. EP H-mode was most often observed as a transition following a large ELM in conditions with low edge neutral recycling. It is hypothesized that the onset of pressure-driven instabilities prior to the full recovery of the neutral density leads to a temporary period with elevated ion temperature gradient that triggers the transition to EP H-mode. Linear CGYRO and M3D-C1 calculations are compared to beam emission spectroscopy (BES) and magnetic spectroscopy in order to describe the evolution of the edge particle transport mechanisms during the ELM recovery and the saturated EP H-mode state. The observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the onset of pressure-driven edge instabilities, such as the KBM and kink-peeling, can be responsible for the increased particle transport in EP H-mode.
We implement unsupervised machine learning techniques to identify characteristic evolution patterns and associated parameter regimes in edge localized mode (ELM) events observed on the National Spherical Torus Experiment. Multi-channel, localized measurements spanning the pedestal region capture the complex evolution patterns of ELM events on Alfven timescales. Some ELM events are active for less than 100~microsec, but others persist for up to 1~ms. Also, some ELM events exhibit a single dominant perturbation, but others are oscillatory. Clustering calculations with time-series similarity metrics indicate the ELM database contains at least two and possibly three groups of ELMs with similar evolution patterns. The identified ELM groups trigger similar stored energy loss, but the groups occupy distinct parameter regimes for ELM-relevant quantities like plasma current, triangularity, and pedestal height. Notably, the pedestal electron pressure gradient is not an effective parameter for distinguishing the ELM groups, but the ELM groups segregate in terms of electron density gradient and electron temperature gradient. The ELM evolution patterns and corresponding parameter regimes can shape the formulation or validation of nonlinear ELM models. Finally, the techniques and results demonstrate an application of unsupervised machine learning at a data-rich fusion facility.
Hvasta, M. G.; Slighton, N. T.; Kolemen, E.; Fisher, A. E.
Rotating Lorentz-force flowmeters are a novel and useful technology with a range of
applications in a variety of different industries. However, calibrating these flowmeters can
be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. In this paper, simple calibration procedures
for rotating Lorentz-force flowmeters are presented. These procedures eliminate the need for
expensive equipment, numerical modeling, redundant flowmeters, and system down-time.
The calibration processes are explained in a step-by-step manner and compared to experimental results.
In this paper, hydraulic jump control using electromagnetic force in a liquid metal flow is presented. The control methods used give insight into the hydraulic jump behavior in the presence of magnetic fields and electrical currents. Flowing liquid metals is a proposed solution to heat flux challenges posed in fusion reactors, specifically the tokamak. Unfortunately, thin, fast-flowing liquid metal divertor concepts for fusion reactors are susceptible to hydraulic jumps that drastically reduce the liquid metal flow speed, leading to potential problems such as excessive evaporation, unsteady power removal, and possible plasma disruption. Highly electrically conductive flows within the magnetic fields do not exhibit traditional hydraulic jump behavior. There is very little research investigating the use of externally injected electrical currents and magnetic fields to control liquid metal hydraulic jumps. By using externally injected electrical currents and a magnetic field, a Lorentz force (also referred to as j × B force) may be generated to control the liquid metal jump behavior. In this work, a free-surface liquid metal—GaInSn eutectic or “galinstan”—flow through an electrically insulating rectangular duct was investigated. It was shown that applying a Lorentz force has a repeatable and predictable impact on the hydraulic jump, which can be used for liquid metal control within next-generation fusion reactors.
The control of divertor heat loads - both steady state and transient - remains a key challenge for the successful operation of ITER and FNSF. Magnetic perturbations provide a promising technique to control ELMs (transients), but understanding their detailed impact is difficult due to their symmetry breaking nature. One approach for reducing steady state heat loads are so called 'advanced divertors' which aim at optimizing the magnetic field configuration: the snowflake and the (super-)X-divertor. It is likely that both concepts - magnetic perturbations and advanced divertors - will have to work together, and we explore their interaction based on the NSTX-U setup. An overview of different divertor configurations under the impact of magnetic perturbations is presented, and the resulting impact on plasma edge transport is investigated with the EMC3-EIRENE code.
Variations in size of the magnetic footprint of the perturbed separatrix are found, which is related to the level of flux expansion on the divertor target. Non-axisymmetric peaking of the heat flux related to the perturbed separatrix is found at the outer strike point, but only in locations where flux expansion is not too large.