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.
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.
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.
Yoo, Jongsoo; Na, Byungkeun; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Yamada, Maasaki; Ji, Hantao; Roytershteyn, V.; Argall, M. R.; Fox, W.; Chen, Li-Jen
Electron heating and the energy inventory during asymmetric reconnection are studied in the laboratory plasma with a density ratio of about 8 across the current sheet. Features of asymmetric reconnection such as the large density gradients near the low-density-side separatrices, asymmetric in-plane electric field, and bipolar out-of-plane magnetic field are observed. Unlike the symmetric case, electrons are also heated near the low-density-side separatrices. The measured parallel electric field may explain the observed electron heating. Although large fluctuations driven by lower-hybrid drift instabilities are also observed near the low-density-side separatrices, laboratory measurements and numerical simulations reported here suggest that they do not play a major role in electron energization. The average electron temperature increase in the exhaust region is proportional to the incoming magnetic energy per an electron/ion pair but exceeds scalings of the previous space observations. This discrepancy is explained by differences in the boundary condition and system size. The profile of electron energy gain from the electric field shows that there is additional electron energy gain associated with the electron diamagnetic current besides a large energy gain near the X-line. This additional energy gain increases electron enthalpy, not the electron temperature. Finally, a quantitative analysis of the energy inventory during asymmetric reconnection is conducted. Unlike the symmetric case where the ion energy gain is about twice more than the electron energy gain, electrons and ions obtain a similar amount of energy during asymmetric reconnection.
Linear stability analysis of the national spherical torus experiment (NSTX) Li-conditioned
ELM-free H-mode equilibria is carried out in the context of the extended
magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) model in NIMROD. The purpose is to investigate the physical
cause behind edge localized mode (ELM) suppression in experiment after the Li-coating of
the divertor and the first wall of the NSTX tokamak. Besides ideal MHD modeling, including
finite-Larmor radius effect and two-fluid Hall and electron diamagnetic drift contributions,
a non-ideal resistivity model is employed, taking into account the increase of Z eff after
Li-conditioning in ELM-free H-mode. Unlike an earlier conclusion from an eigenvalue code
analysis of these equilibria, NIMROD results find that after reduced recycling from divertor
plates, profile modification is necessary but insufficient to explain the mechanism behind
complete ELMs suppression in ideal two-fluid MHD. After considering the higher plasma
resistivity due to higher Z eff , the complete stabilization could be explained. A thorough
analysis of both pre-lithium ELMy and with-lithium ELM-free cases using ideal and
non-ideal MHD models is presented, after accurately including a vacuum-like cold halo
region in NIMROD to investigate ELMs.
In this paper we present data from experiments on NSTX-U where it is shown for the first time that small amounts of high pitch-angle beam ions can strongly suppress the counter-propagating Global Alfvén Eigenmodes (GAE). GAE have been implicated in the redistribution of fast ions and modification of the electron power balance in previous experiments on NSTX. The ability to predict the stability of Alfvén modes, and developing methods to control them, is important for fusion reactor like the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) which are heated by a large population of non-thermal, super-Alfvénic ions consisting of fusion generated alphas and beam ions injected for current profile control. We present a qualitative interpretation of these observations using an analytic model of the Doppler-shifted ion-cyclotron resonance drive responsible for GAE instability which has an important dependence on k⊥ρL. A quantitative analysis of this data with the HYM stability code predicts both the frequencies and instability of the GAE prior to, and suppression of the GAE after the injection of high pitch-angle beam ions.
Bejjanki, Vikranth R.; da Silveira, Rava Azeredo; Cohen, Jonathan D.; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B.
Multivariate decoding methods, such as multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA), are highly effective at extracting information from brain imaging data. Yet, the precise nature of the information that MVPA draws upon remains controversial. Most current theories emphasize the enhanced sensitivity imparted by aggregating across voxels that have mixed and weak selectivity. However, beyond the selectivity of individual voxels, neural variability is correlated across voxels, and such noise correlations may contribute importantly to accurate decoding. Indeed, a recent computational theory proposed that noise correlations enhance multivariate decoding from heterogeneous neural populations. Here we extend this theory from the scale of neurons to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and show that noise correlations between heterogeneous populations of voxels (i.e., voxels selective for different stimulus variables) contribute to the success of MVPA. Specifically, decoding performance is enhanced when voxels with high vs. low noise correlations (measured during rest or in the background of the task) are selected during classifier training. Conversely, voxels that are strongly selective for one class in a GLM or that receive high classification weights in MVPA tend to exhibit high noise correlations with voxels selective for the other class being discriminated against. Furthermore, we use simulations to show that this is a general property of fMRI data and that selectivity and noise correlations can have distinguishable influences on decoding. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that if there is signal in the data, the resulting above-chance classification accuracy is modulated by the magnitude of noise correlations.
Kinetic modification of ideal stability theory from stabilizing resonances of mode-particle interaction has had success in explaining resistive wall mode (RWM) stability limits in tokamaks. With the goal of real-time stability forecasting, a reduced kinetic stability model has been implemented in the new Disruption Event Characterization and Forecasting (DECAF) code, which has been written to analyze disruptions in tokamaks. The reduced model incorporates parameterized models for ideal limits on beta, a ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure, which are shown to be in good agreement with DCON code calculations. Increased beta between these ideal limits causes a shift in the unstable region of delta W_K space, where delta W_K is the change in potential energy due to kinetic effects that is solved for by the reduced model, such that it is possible for plasmas to be unstable at intermediate beta but stable at higher beta. Gaussian functions for delta W_K are defined as functions of E cross B frequency and collisionality, with parameters reflecting the experience of the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). The reduced model was tested on a database of discharges from NSTX and experimentally stable and unstable discharges were separated noticeably on a stability map in E cross B frequency, collisionality space. The reduced model only failed to predict an unstable RWM in 15.6% of cases with an experimentally unstable RWM and performed well on predicting stability for experimentally stable discharges as well.
Reflectometry measurements of compressional (CAE) and global (GAE) Alfvén eigenmodes are analyzed to obtain the amplitude and spatial structure of the density perturbations associated with the modes. A novel analysis technique developed for this purpose is presented. The analysis also naturally yields the amplitude and spatial structure of the density contour radial displacement, which is found to be 2–4 times larger than the value estimated directly from the reflectometer measurements using the much simpler ‘mirror approximation’. The modes were driven by beam ions in a high power (6 MW) neutral beam heated H-mode discharge (#141398) in the National Spherical Torus Experiment. The results of the analysis are used to assess the contribution of the modes to core energy transport and ion heating. The total displacement amplitude of the modes, which is shown to be larger than previously estimated (Crocker et al 2013 Nucl. Fusion 53 43017), is compared to the predicted threshold (Gorelenkov et al 2010 Nucl. Fusion 50 84012) for the anomalously high heat diffusion inferred from transport modeling in similar NSTX discharges. The results of the analysis also have strong implications for the energy transport via coupling of CAEs to kinetic Alfvén waves seen in simulations with the Hybrid MHD code (Belova et al 2015 Phys. Rev. Lett. 115 15001). Finally, the amplitudes of the observed CAEs fall well below the threshold for causing significant ion heating by stochastic velocity space diffusion (Gates et al 2001 Phys. Rev. Lett. 87 205003).