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.
To effectuate near real-time feedback control of ideal MHD instabilities in a tokamak geometry, a rapid solution for stability analysis is a prerequisite. Toward this end, we reformulate the δW stability method with a Hamilton-Jacobi theory, elucidating analytical and numerical features of the generic tokamak ideal MHD stability problem. The plasma response matrix is demonstrated to be the solution of an ideal MHD matrix Riccati differential equation (MRDE). Since Riccati equations are prevalent in the control theory literature, such a shift in perspective brings to bear a range of numerical methods that are well-suited to the robust, fast solution of control problems. We discuss the usefulness of Riccati techniques in solving the stiff ODEs often encountered in ideal MHD stability analyses-—for example, in tokamak edge and stellarator physics. We then demonstrate the applicability of such methods to an existing 2D ideal MHD stability code—DCON—enabling its parallel operation in near real-time. Output is shown to match with high accuracy, and with wall-clock time ≪ 1s. Such speed may help enable active feedback ideal MHD stability control, especially in tokamak plasmas whose ideal MHD equilibria evolve with inductive timescale τ > 1s-—as in ITER.
Martin, James K; Sheehan, Joseph P; Bratton, Benjamin P; Moore, Gabriel M; Mateus, André; Li, Sophia Hsin-Jung; Kim, Hahn; Rabinowitz, Joshua D; Typas, Athanasios; Savitski, Mikhail M; Wilson, Maxwell Z; Gitai, Zemer
The rise of antibiotic resistance and declining discovery of new antibiotics have created a global health crisis. Of particular concern, no new antibiotic classes have been approved for treating Gram-negative pathogens in decades. Here, we characterize a compound, SCH-79797, that kills both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria through a unique dual-targeting mechanism of action (MoA) with undetectably-low resistance frequencies. To characterize its MoA, we combined quantitative imaging, proteomic, genetic, metabolomic, and cell-based assays. This pipeline demonstrates that SCH-79797 has two independent cellular targets, folate metabolism and bacterial membrane integrity, and outperforms combination treatments in killing MRSA persisters. Building on the molecular core of SCH-79797, we developed a derivative, Irresistin-16, with increased potency and showed its efficacy against Neisseria gonorrheae in a mouse vaginal infection model. This promising antibiotic lead suggests that combining multiple MoAs onto a single chemical scaffold may be an underappreciated approach to targeting challenging bacterial pathogens.
Coronal mass ejections are solar eruptions driven by a sudden release of magnetic energy stored in the Sun’s corona. In many cases, this magnetic energy is stored in long-lived, arched structures called magnetic flux ropes. When a flux rope destabilizes, it can either erupt and produce a coronal mass ejection or fail and collapse back towards the Sun. The prevailing belief is that the outcome of a given event is determined by a magnetohydrodynamic force imbalance called the torus instability. This belief is challenged, however, by observations indicating that torus-unstable flux ropes sometimes fail to erupt. This contradiction has not yet been resolved because of a lack of coronal magnetic field measurements and the limitations of idealized numerical modelling. Here we report the results of a laboratory experiment that reveal a previously unknown eruption criterion below which torus-unstable flux ropes fail to erupt. We find that such ‘failed torus’ events occur when the guide magnetic field (that is, the ambient field that runs toroidally along the flux rope) is strong enough to prevent the flux rope from kinking. Under these conditions, the guide field interacts with electric currents in the flux rope to produce a dynamic toroidal field tension force that halts the eruption. This magnetic tension force is missing from existing eruption models, which is why such models cannot explain or predict failed torus events.
Halo currents generated during unmitigated tokamak disruptions are known to develop rotating asymmetric features that are of great concern to ITER because they can dynamically amplify the mechanical stresses on the machine. This paper presents a multi-machine analysis of these phenomena. More specifically, data from C-Mod, NSTX, ASDEX Upgrade, DIII-D, and JET are used to develop empirical scalings of three key quantities: (1) the machine-specific minimum current quench time, tauCQ; (2) the halo current rotation duration, trot; and (3) the average halo current rotation frequency, <fh>. These data reveal that the normalized rotation duration, trot/tauCQ, and the average rotation velocity, <vh>, are surprisingly consistent from machine to machine. Furthermore, comparisons between carbon and metal wall machines show that metal walls have minimal impact on the behavior of rotating halo currents. Finally, upon projecting to ITER, the empirical scalings indicate that substantial halo current rotation above <fh> = 20 Hz is to be expected. More importantly, depending on the projected value of tauCQ in ITER, substantial rotation could also occur in the resonant frequency range of 6-20 Hz. As such, the possibility of damaging halo current rotation during unmitigated disruptions in ITER cannot be ruled out.
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.
The engineering limits of plasma facing components (PFCs) constrain the allowable operational space of tokamaks. Poorly managed heat fluxes that push the PFCs beyond their limits not only degrade core plasma performance via elevated impurities, but can also result in PFC failure due to thermal stresses or melting. Simple axisymmetric assumptions fail to capture the complex interaction between 3D PFC geometry and 2D or 3D plasmas. This results in fusion systems that must either operate with increased risk or reduce PFC loads, potentially through lower core plasma performance, to maintain a nominal safety factor. High precision 3D heat flux predictions are necessary to accurately ascertain the state of a PFC given the evolution of the magnetic equilibrium. A new code, the Heat flux Engineering Analysis Toolkit (HEAT), has been developed to provide high precision 3D predictions and analysis for PFCs. HEAT couples many otherwise disparate computational tools together into a single open source python package. Magnetic equilibrium, engineering CAD, finite volume solvers, scrape off layer plasma physics, visualization, high performace computing, and more, are connected in a single web-based user interface. Linux users may use HEAT without any software prerequisites via an appImage. This manuscript introduces HEAT, discusses the software architecture, presents first HEAT results, and outlines physics modules in development.
It is well known that formation of new episodic memories depends on hippocampus, but in real-life settings (e.g., conversation), hippocampal amnesics can utilize information from several minutes earlier. What neural systems outside hippocampus might support this minutes-long retention? In this study, subjects viewed an audiovisual movie continuously for 25 min; another group viewed the movie in 2 parts separated by a 1-day delay. Understanding Part 2 depended on retrieving information from Part 1, and thus hippocampus was required in the day-delay condition. But is hippocampus equally recruited to access the same information from minutes earlier? We show that accessing memories from a few minutes prior elicited less interaction between hippocampus and default mode network (DMN) cortical regions than accessing day-old memories of identical events, suggesting that recent information was available with less reliance on hippocampal retrieval. Moreover, the 2 groups evinced
reliable but distinct DMN activity timecourses, reflecting differences in information carried in these regions when Part 1 was recent versus distant. The timecourses converged after 4 min, suggesting a time frame over which the continuous-viewing group may have relied less on hippocampal retrieval. We propose that cortical default mode regions can intrinsically retain real-life episodic information for several minutes.
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.