Non-axisymmetric control coils and the so-called snowflake divertor configuration are two potential solutions proposed to solve two separate outstanding issues on the path towards self-sustained burning plasma operations, namely the transient energy bursts caused by edge localized modes and the steady state heat exhaust problem. In a reactor, these two proposed solutions would have to operate simultaneously and it is, therefore, important to investigate their compatibility and to identify possible conflicts that could prevent them from operating simultaneously. In this work, single- and two-fluid resistive magnetohydrodynamic calculations are used to investigate the effect of externally applied magnetic perturbations on the snowflake divertor configuration. The calculations are based on simulated NSTX-U plasmas and the results show that additional and longer magnetic lobes are created in the null-point region of the snowflake configuration, compared to those in the conventional single-null. The intersection of these longer and additional lobes with the divertor plates are expected to cause more striations in the particle and heat flux target profiles. In addition, the results indicate that the size of the magnetic lobes, in both single-null and snowflake configurations, are more sensitive to resonant magnetic perturbations than to non-resonant magnetic perturbations. The results also suggest that lower values of current in non-axisymmetric control coils would be required to suppress edge localized modes in plasmas with the snowflake configuration.
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 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 (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.
Kim, Donghoon; Tracy, Sally J.; Smith, Raymond F.; Gleason, Arianna E.; Bolme, Cindy A.; Prakapenka, Vitali B.; Appel, Karen; Speziable, Sergio; Wicks, June K.; Berryman, Eleanor J.; Han, Sirus K.; Schoelmerich, Markus O.; Lee, Hae Ja; Nagler, Bob; Cunningham, Eric F.; Akin, Minta C.; Asimow, Paul D.; Eggert, Jon H.; Duffy, Thomas S.
The behavior of forsterite, Mg2SiO4, under dynamic compression is of fundamental importance for understanding its phase transformations and high-pressure behavior. Here, we have carried out an in situ X-ray diffraction study of laser-shocked poly- and single-crystal forsterite (a-, b-, and c- orientations) from 19 to 122 GPa using the Matter in Extreme Conditions end-station of the Linac Coherent Light Source. Under laser-based shock loading, forsterite does not transform to the high-pressure equilibrium assemblage of MgSiO3 bridgmanite and MgO periclase, as was suggested previously. Instead, we observe forsterite and forsterite III, a metastable polymorph of Mg2SiO4, coexisting in a mixed-phase region from 33 to 75 GPa for both polycrystalline and single-crystal samples. Densities inferred from X-ray diffraction data are consistent with earlier gas-gun shock data. At higher stress, the behavior observed is sample-dependent. Polycrystalline samples undergo amorphization above 79 GPa. For - and -oriented crystals, a mixture of crystalline and amorphous material is observed to 108 GPa, whereas the -oriented crystal adopts an unknown crystal structure at 122 GPa. The Q values of the first two sharp diffraction peaks of amorphous Mg2SiO4 show a similar trend with compression as those observed for MgSiO3 glass in both recent static and laser-compression experiments. Upon release to ambient pressure, all samples retain or revert to forsterite with evidence for amorphous material also present in some cases. This study demonstrates the utility of femtosecond free-electron laser X-ray sources for probing the time evolution of high-pressure silicates through the nanosecond-scale events of shock compression and release.
Pereira, Talmo D.; Aldarondo, Diego E.; Willmore, Lindsay; Kislin, Mikhail; Wang, Samuel S.-H.; Murthy, Mala; Shaevitz, Joshua W.
Recent work quantifying postural dynamics has attempted to define the repertoire of behaviors performed by an animal. However, a major drawback to these techniques has been their reliance on dimensionality reduction of images which destroys information about which parts of the body are used in each behavior. To address this issue, we introduce a deep learning-based method for pose estimation, LEAP (LEAP Estimates Animal Pose). LEAP automatically predicts the positions of animal body parts using a deep convolutional neural network with as little as 10 frames of labeled data for training. This framework consists of a graphical interface for interactive labeling of body parts and software for training the network and fast prediction on new data (1 hr to train, 185 Hz predictions). We validate LEAP using videos of freely behaving fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and track 32 distinct points on the body to fully describe the pose of the head, body, wings, and legs with an error rate of <3% of the animal's body length. We recapitulate a number of reported findings on insect gait dynamics and show LEAP's applicability as the first step in unsupervised behavioral classification. Finally, we extend the method to more challenging imaging situations (pairs of flies moving on a mesh-like background) and movies from freely moving mice (Mus musculus) where we track the full conformation of the head, body, and limbs.
Kaita, R.; Lucia, M.; Allain, J. P.; Bedoya, F.; Capece, A.; Jaworski, M.; Koel, B. E.; Majeski, R.; Roszell, J.; Schmitt, J.; Scotti, F.; Skinner, C. H.; Soukhanovskii, V.
The application of lithium to plasma-facing components (PFCs) has long been used as a technique for wall conditioning in magnetic confinement devices to improve plasma performance. Determining the characteristics of PFCs at the time of exposure to the plasma, however, is difficult because they can only be analyzed after venting the vacuum vessel and removing them at the end of an operational period. The Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) addresses this problem by enabling PFC samples to be exposed to plasmas, and then withdrawn into an analysis chamber without breaking vacuum. The MAPP system was used to introduce samples that matched the metallic PFCs of the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX). Lithium that was subsequently evaporated onto the walls also covered the MAPP samples, which were then subject to LTX discharges. In vacuo extraction and analysis of the samples indicated that lithium oxide formed on the PFCs, but improved plasma performance persisted in LTX. The reduced recycling this suggests is consistent with separate surface science experiments that demonstrated deuterium retention in the presence of lithium oxide films. Since oxygen decreases the thermal stability of the deuterium in the film, the release of deuterium was observed below the lithium deuteride dissociation temperature. This may explain what occurred when lithium was applied to the surface of the NSTX Liquid Lithium Divertor (LLD). The LLD had segments with individual heaters, and the deuterium-alpha emission was clearly lower in the cooler regions. The plan for NSTX-U is to replace the graphite tiles with high-Z PFCs, and apply lithium to their surfaces with lithium evaporation. Experiments with lithium coatings on such PFCs suggest that deuterium could still be retained if lithium compounds form, but limiting their surface temperatures may be necessary.
Skinner, C.H.; Bedoya, F.; Scotti, F.; Allain, J.P.; Blanchard, W.; Cai, D.; Jaworski, M.; Koel, B.E.
Boronization has been effective in reducing plasma impurities and enabling access to higher density, higher confinement plasmas in many magnetic fusion devices. The National Spherical Torus eXperiment, NSTX, has recently undergone a major upgrade to NSTX-U in order to develop the physics basis for a ST-based Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) with capability for double the toroidal field, plasma current, and NBI heating power and increased pulse duration from 1–1.5 s to 5–8 s. A new deuterated tri-methyl boron conditioning system was implemented together with a novel surface analysis diagnostic. We report on the spatial distribution of the boron deposition versus discharge pressure, gas injection and electrode location. The oxygen concentration of the plasma facing surface was measured by in-vacuo XPS and increased both with plasma exposure and with exposure to trace residual gases. This increase correlated with the rise of oxygen emission from the plasma.
Rafiq T; Kaye S; Guttenfelder W; Weiland J; Schuster E; Anderson J; Luo L;
Microtearing mode (MTM) real frequency, growth rate, magnetic fluctuation amplitude and resulting electron thermal transport are studied in systematic NSTX scans of relevant plasma parameters. The dependency of the MTM real frequency and growth rate on plasma parameters, suitable for low and high collision NSTX discharges, is obtained by using the reduced MTM transport model [T. Rafiq, et al., Phys. Plasmas 23, 062507 (2016)]. The plasma parameter dependencies are compared and found to be consistent with the results obtained from MTM using the Gyrokinetic GYRO code. The scaling trend of collision frequency and plasma beta is found to be consistent with the global energy confinement trend observed in the NSTX experiment. The strength of the magnetic fluctuation is found to be consistent with the gyrokinetic estimate.In earlier studies, it was found that the version of the Multi-Mode (MM) anomalous transport model, which did not contain the effect of MTMs, provided an appropriate description of the electron temperature profiles in standard tokamak discharges and not in spherical tokamaks. When the MM model, which involves transport associated with MTMs, is incorporated in the TRANSP code and is used in the study of electron thermal transport in NSTX discharges, it is observed that the agreement with the experimental electron temperature profile is substantially improved.
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 scheme 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.