Myers, Clayton; Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, Hantao; Yoo, Jongsoo; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Fox, William
The loss-of-equilibrium is a solar eruption mechanism whereby a sudden breakdown of the magnetohydrodynamic force balance in the Sun's corona ejects a massive burst of particles and energy into the heliosphere. Predicting a loss-of-equilibrium, which has more recently been formulated as the torus instability, relies on a detailed understanding of the various forces that hold the pre-eruption magnetic flux rope in equilibrium. Traditionally, idealized analytical force expressions are used to derive simplified eruption criteria that can be compared to solar observations and modeling. What is missing, however, is a validation that these idealized analytical force expressions can be applied to the line-tied, low-aspect-ratio conditions of the corona. In this paper, we address this shortcoming by using a laboratory experiment to study the forces that act on long-lived, arched, line-tied magnetic flux ropes. Three key force terms are evaluated over a wide range of experimental conditions: (1) the upward hoop force; (2) the downward strapping force; and (3) the downward toroidal field tension force. First, the laboratory force measurements show that, on average, the three aforementioned force terms cancel to produce a balanced line-tied equilibrium. This finding validates the laboratory force measurement techniques developed here, which were recently used to identify a dynamic toroidal field tension force that can prevent flux rope eruptions [Myers et al., Nature 528, 526 (2015)]. The verification of magnetic force balance also confirms the low-beta assumption that the plasma thermal pressure is negligible in these experiments. Next, the measured force terms are directly compared to their corresponding analytical expressions. While the measured and analytical forces are found to be well correlated, the low-aspect-ratio, line-tied conditions in the experiment are found to both reduce the measured hoop force and increase the measured tension force with respect to analytical expectations. These two co-directed effects combine to generate laboratory flux rope equilibria at lower altitudes than are predicted analytically. Such considerations are expected to modify the loss-of-equilibrium eruption criteria for analogous flux ropes in the solar corona.
Large-eddy simulations were employed over half-ice and half-water surfaces, with varying surface temperatures, wind speeds, directions, as to test if the atmospheric interaction with the heterogeneous surface can be predicted via a heterogeneity Richardson number. This dataset was used to determine that surface heat fluxes over ice, water, and the aggregate surface seem to be captured reasonably well by the wind direction and the heterogeneity Richardson number, but the mean wind and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) profiles were not, suggesting that not only the difference in stability between the two surface, but also the individual stabilities over each surface influence the dynamics.
Large-eddy simulations were employed over five different sea ice patterns, with a constant ice fraction, to test if the overlying atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) dynamics and thermodynamics differs. The results of these simulations were used to determine that there were differences in vertical heat flux, momentum flux, and horizontal wind speed, and that more surface information is needed to predict the ABL over the sea ice surface. To see what other surface information is needed, twenty-two landscape metrics were calculated over forty-four different maps at differing resolutions, using the FRAGSTATs program. The results of that analysis are available in a .csv file in this dataset.
A large-volume flux closure during transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) in NSTX-U
is demonstrated through resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations. Several
major improvements, including the improved positioning of the divertor poloidal field coils, are projected to improve the CHI start-up phase in NSTX-U. Simulations in the NSTX-U configuration with constant in time coil currents show that with strong flux shaping the injected open field lines (injector flux) rapidly reconnect and form large volume of closed flux surfaces. This is achieved by driving parallel current in the injector flux coil and oppositely directed currents in the flux shaping coils to form a narrow injector flux footprint and push the injector flux into the vessel. As the helicity and plasma are injected into the device, the oppositely directed field lines in the injector region are forced to reconnect through a local Sweet–Parker type reconnection, or to spontaneously reconnect when the elongated current sheet becomes MHD unstable to form plasmoids. In these simulations for the first time, it is found that the closed flux is over 70% of the initial injector flux used to initiate the discharge. These results could work well for the application of transient CHI in devices that employ super conducting coils to generate and sustain the plasma equilibrium.
The data are 4554 light curves derived from images taken of the globular cluster M4 by the Kepler space telescope during the K2 portion of its mission, specifically during Campaign 2 of that mission, which occurred in 2014. A total of 3856 images were taken over approximately three months at a cadence of approximately half an hour. The purpose of these observations was to find stars and other objects that vary in brightness over time --- variable stars. Also included is a table with associated information for each of the 4554 objects and their light curves.
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.