F. M. Laggner, A. Diallo, B. P. LeBlanc, R. Rozenblat, G. Tchilinguirian, E.Kolemen, the NSTX-U team
A detailed description of a prototype setup for real-time (rt) Thomson scattering (TS) analysis is presented and implemented in the multi-point Thomson scattering (MPTS) diagnostic system at the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade(NSTX-U). The data acquisition hardware was upgraded with rt capable electronics (rt-analog digital converters (ADCs) and a rt server) that allow for fast digitization of the laser pulse signal of eight radial MPTS channels. In addition, a new TS spectrum analysis software for a rapid calculation of electron temperature (Te) and electron density (ne) was developed. Testing of the rt hardware and data analysis soft-ware was successfully completed and benchmarked against the standard, post-shot evaluation. Timing tests were performed showing that the end-to-end processing time was reproducibly below 17 ms for the duration of at least 5 s, meeting a 60 Hz deadline by the laser pulse repetition rate over the length of a NSTX-U discharge. The presented rt framework is designed to be scalable in system size, i.e. incorporation of additional radial channels by solely adding additional rt capable hardware. Furthermore, it is scalable in its operation duration and was continuously run for up to 30 min, making it an attractive solution for machines with long discharge duration such as advanced, non-inductive tokamaks or stellarators.
Employment of non-inductive plasma start-up techniques would considerably simplify the design of a spherical tokamak fusion reactor. Transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) is a promising method, expected to scale favorably to next-step reactors. However, the implications of reactor-relevant parameters on the initial breakdown phase for CHI have not yet been considered. Here, we evaluate CHI breakdown in reactor-like configurations using an extension of the Townsend avalanche theory. We find that a CHI electrode concept in which the outer vessel wall is biased to achieve breakdown, while previously successful on NSTX and HIT-II, may exhibit a severe weakness when scaled up to a reactor. On the other hand, concepts which employ localized biasing electrodes such as those used in QUEST would avoid this issue. Assuming that breakdown can be successfully attained, we then apply scaling relationships to predict plasma parameters attainable in the transient CHI discharge. Assuming the use of 1 Wb of injector flux, we find that plasma currents of 1 MA should be achievable. Furthermore, these plasmas are expected to Ohmically self-heat with more than 1 MW of power as they decay, facilitating efficient hand-off to steady-state heating sources. These optimistic scalings are supported by TSC simulations.
Zweben SJ, Myra JR, Diallo A, Russell DA, Scotti F, Stotler DP
Transient small-scale structures were identified in the wake of blobs movingpoloidally through the SOL of high-powered H-mode plasmas in NSTX, using the gaspuff imaging (GPI) diagnostic. These blob wakes had a poloidal wavelength in therange 3.5 cm, which is significantly smaller than the average blob scale of~12 cm, and the wakes had a poloidal velocity of 1.5 km/sec in theelectron diamagnetic direction, which is opposite to the blob poloidal velocity inthese shots. These wakes were radially localized 0-4 cm outside the separatrix andoccurred within ~50 microsec after the passage of a blob through the GPI field of view.The clearest wakes were seen when the GPI viewing angle was well aligned with thelocal B field line, as expected for such small-scale structures given the diagnosticgeometry. A plausible theoretical interpretation of the wakes is discussed: theobserved wakes share some features of drift waves and/or drift-Alfven waves whichcould be excited
Protein sequence space is vast; nature uses only an infinitesimal fraction of possible sequences to sustain life. Are there solutions to biological problems other than those provided by nature? Can we create artificial proteins that sustain life? To investigate this question, the Hecht lab has created combinatorial collections, or libraries, of novel sequences with no homology to those found in living organisms. These libraries were subjected to screens and selections, leading to the identification of sequences with roles in catalysis, modulating gene regulation, and metal homeostasis. However, the resulting functional proteins formed dynamic rather than well-ordered structures. This impeded structural characterization and made it difficult to ascertain a mechanism of action.
To address this, Christina Karas's thesis work focuses on developing a new model of libraries based on the de novo protein S-824, a four-helix bundle with a very stable three-dimensional structure. The first part of this research focused on mutagenesis of S-824 and characterization of the resulting proteins, revealing that this scaffold tolerates amino acid substitutions, including buried polar residues and the removal of hydrophobic side chains to create a putative cavity.
Distinct from previous libraries, Karas targeted variability to a specific region of the protein, seeking to create a cavity and potential active site. The second part of this work details the design and creation of a library encoding 1.7 x 10^6 unique proteins, assembled from degenerate oligonucleotides. The third and fourth parts of this work cover the screening effort for a range of activities, both in vitro and in vivo. I found that this collection binds heme readily, leading to abundant peroxidase activity. Hits for lipase and phosphatase activity were also detected.
This work details the development of a new strategy for creating de novo sequences geared toward function rather than structure.
Explosive volcanic eruptions have large climate impacts, and can serve as observable tests of the climatic response to radiative forcing. Using a high resolution climate model, we contrast the climate responses to Pinatubo, with symmetric forcing, and those to Santa Maria and Agung, which had meridionally asymmetric forcing. Although Pinatubo had larger global-mean forcing, asymmetric forcing strongly shifts the latitude of tropical rainfall features, leading to larger local precipitation/TC changes. For example, North Atlantic TC activity over is enhanced/reduced by SH-forcing (Agung)/NH-forcing (Santa Maria), but changes little in response to the Pinatubo forcing. Moreover, the transient climate sensitivity estimated from the response to Santa Maria is 20% larger than that from Pinatubo or Agung. This spread in climatic impacts of volcanoes needs to be considered when evaluating the role of volcanoes in global and regional climate, and serves to contextualize the well-observed response to Pinatubo.
In this comment, we point out possible critical numerical flaws of recent particle simulation studies (Jiang et al 2016 Nucl. Fusion 56 126017, Peng et al 2018 Nucl. Fusion 58 026007) on the electrical gas breakdown in a simple one-dimensional periodic slab geometry. We show that their observations on the effects of the ambipolar electric fields during the breakdown, such as the sudden reversal of the ion flow direction, could not be real physical phenomena but resulting from numerical artifacts violating the momentum conservation law. We show that an incomplete implementation of the direct-implicit scheme can cause the artificial electric fields and plasma transports resulting in fallacies in simulation results. We also discuss that their simple plasma model without considering poloidal magnetic fields seriously mislead the physical mechanism of the electrical gas breakdown because it cannot reflect important dominant plasma dynamics in the poloidal plane (Yoo et al 2018 Nat. Commun. 9 3523).
Antony, James W.; Cheng, Larry Y.; Brooks, Paula P.; Paller, Ken A.; Norman, Kenneth A.
Competition between memories can cause weakening of those memories. Here we investigated memory competition during sleep in human participants by presenting auditory cues that had been linked to two distinct picture-location pairs during wake. We manipulated competition during learning by requiring participants to rehearse picture-location pairs associated with the same sound either competitively (choosing to rehearse one over the other, leading to greater competition) or separately; we hypothesized that greater competition during learning would lead to greater competition when memories were cued during sleep. With separate-pair learning, we found that cueing benefited spatial retention. With competitive-pair learning, no benefit of cueing was observed on retention, but cueing impaired retention of well-learned pairs (where we expected strong competition). During sleep, post-cue beta power (16–30 Hz) indexed competition and predicted forgetting, whereas sigma power (11–16 Hz) predicted subsequent retention. Taken together, these findings show that competition between memories during learning can modulate how they are consolidated during sleep.
Vail, P. J.; Boyer, M. D.; Welander, A. S.; Kolemen, E.; U.S. Department of Energy contract number DE-AC02-09CH11466
This paper presents the development of a physics-based multiple-input-multiple-output algorithm for real-time feedback control of snowflake divertor (SFD) configurations on the National Spherical Torus eXperiment Upgrade (NSTX-U). A model of the SFD configuration response to applied voltages on the divertor control coils is first derived and then used, in conjunction with multivariable control synthesis techniques, to design an optimal state feedback controller for the configuration. To demonstrate the capabilities of the controller, a nonlinear simulator for axisymmetric shape control was developed for NSTX-U which simultaneously evolves the currents in poloidal field coils based upon a set of feedback-computed voltage commands, calculates the induced currents in passive conducting structures, and updates the plasma equilibrium by solving the free-boundary Grad-Shafranov problem. Closed-loop simulations demonstrate that the algorithm enables controlled operations in a variety of SFD configurations and provides capabilities for accurate tracking of time-dependent target trajectories for the divertor geometry. In particular, simulation results suggest that a time-varying controller which can properly account for the evolving SFD dynamical response is not only desirable but necessary for achieving acceptable control performance. The algorithm presented in this paper has been implemented in the NSTX-U Plasma Control System in preparation for future control and divertor physics experiments.
We discuss a role of the electron inertial effect on linearly polarized electromagnetic ion
cyclotron (EMIC) waves at Earth. The linearly polarized EMIC waves have been previously
suggested to be generated via mode conversion from the fast compressional wave at the ion-ion
hybrid (IIH) resonance. When the electron inertial effects are neglected, the wave normal angle
of the mode-converted IIH waves is 90 degrees because the wavevector perpendicular to the
magnetic field becomes infinite at the IIH resonance. When the electron inertial effect is
considered, the mode-converted IIH waves can propagate across the magnetic field lines and the
wavelength perpendicular to the magnetic field approaches the electron inertial length scale near
the Buchsbaum resonance. These waves are referred to as electron inertial waves. Due to the
electron inertial effect, the perpendicular wavenumber to the ambient magnetic field near the
IIH resonance remains finite and the wave normal angle is less than 90 degrees. The wave normal
angle where the maximum absorption occurs in a dipole magnetic field is 30-80 degrees, which
is consistent with the observed values near the magnetic equator. Therefore, the numerical
results suggest that the linearly polarized EMIC wave generated via mode conversion near the
IIH resonance can be detected in between the Buchsbaum and the IIH resonance frequencies,
and these waves can have normal angle less than 90 degrees.
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.