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
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.
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.
Boronization is commonly utilized in tokamaks to suppress intrinsic impurities, most notably oxygen from residual water vapor. However, this is a temporary solution, as oxygen levels typically return to pre-boronization levels following repeated plasma exposure. The global impurity migration model WallDYN has been applied to the post-boronization surface impurity evolution in NSTX-U. A “Thin Film Model” has been incorporated into WallDYN to handle spatially inhomogeneous conditioning films of varying thicknesses, together with an empirical boron conditioning model for the NSTX-U glow discharge boronization process. The model qualitatively reproduces the spatial distribution of boron in the NSTX-U vessel, the spatially-resolved divertor emission pattern, and the increase in oxygen levels following boronization. The simulations suggest that oxygen is primarily sourced from wall locations without heavy plasma flux or significant boron deposition, namely the lower and upper passive plates and the lower private flux zone.
Transport analysis, ion-scale turbulence measurements, and initial linear and nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations are reported for a transport validation study based on low aspect ratio NSTX-U L-mode discharges. The relatively long, stationary L-modes enabled by the upgraded centerstack provide a more ideal target for transport validation studies that were not available during NSTX operation. Transport analysis shows that anomalous electron transport dominates energy loss while ion thermal transport is well described by neoclassical theory. Linear gyrokinetic GYRO analysis predicts that ion temperature gradient (ITG) modes are unstable around normalized radii $\rho$=0.6-0.8, although $E\timesB$ shearing rates are larger than the linear growth rates over much of that region. Deeper in the core ($\rho$=0.4-0.6), electromagnetic microtearing modes (MTM) are unstable as a consequence of the relatively high beta and collisionality in these particular discharges. Consistent with the linear analysis, local, nonlinear ion-scale GYRO simulations predict strong ITG transport at $\rho$=0.76, whereas electromagnetic MTM transport is important at $\rho$=0.47. The prediction of ion-scale turbulence is consistent with 2D beam emission spectroscopy (BES) that measures the presence of broadband ion-scale fluctuations. Interestingly, the BES measurements also indicate the presence of bi-modal poloidal phase velocity propagation that could be indicative of two different turbulence types. However, in the region between ($\rho$=0.56, 0.66), ion-scale simulations are strongly suppressed by the locally large $E\timesB$ shear. Instead, electron temperature gradient (ETG) turbulence simulations predict substantial transport, illustrating electron-scale contributions can be important in low aspect ratio L-modes, similar to recent analysis at conventional aspect ratio. However, agreement within experimental uncertainties has not been demonstrated, which requires additional simulations to test parametric sensitivities. The potential need to include profile-variation effects (due to the relatively large value of $\rho_*$=$\rho_i$/a at low aspect ratio), including electromagnetic and possibly multi-scale effects, is also discussed.
Woods, B. J. Q.; Duarte, V. N.; Fredrickson, E. D.; Gorelenkov, N. N.; Podestà, M.; Vann, R. G. L.
Abrupt large events in the Alfvenic and sub-Alfvenic frequency bands in tokamaks are typically correlated with increased fast-ion loss. Here, machine learning is used to speed up the laborious process of characterizing the behavior of magnetic perturbations from corresponding frequency spectrograms that are typically identified by humans. The analysis allows for comparison between different mode character (such as quiescent, fixed frequency, and chirping, avalanching) and plasma parameters obtained from the TRANSP code, such as the ratio of the neutral beam injection (NBI) velocity and the Alfven velocity (v_inj./v_A), the q-profile, and the ratio of the neutral beam beta and the total plasma beta (beta_beam,i / beta). In agreement with the previous work by Fredrickson et al., we find a correlation between beta_beam,i and mode character. In addition, previously unknown correlations are found between moments of the spectrograms and mode character. Character transition from quiescent to nonquiescent behavior for magnetic fluctuations in the 50200-kHz frequency band is observed along the boundary v_phi ~ (1/4)(v_inj. - 3v_A), where v_phi is the rotation velocity.
The Electromagnetic Particle Injector (EPI) concept is advanced through the simulation of ablatant deposition into ITER H-mode discharges with calculations showing penetration past the H-mode pedestal for a range of injection velocities and granule sizes concurrent with the requirements of disruption mitigation. As discharge stored energy increases in future fusion devices such as ITER, control and handling of disruption events becomes a critical issue. An unmitigated disruption could lead to failure of the plasma facing components resulting in financially and politically costly repairs. Methods to facilitate the quench of an unstable high current discharge are required. With the onset warning time for some ITER disruption events estimated to be less than 10 ms, a disruption mitigation system needs to be considered which operates at injection speeds greater than gaseous sound speeds. Such an actuator could then serve as a means to augment presently planned pneumatic injection systems. The EPI uses a rail gun concept whereby a radiative payload is delivered into the discharge by means of the JxB forces generated by an external current pulse, allowing for injection velocities in excess of 1 km/s. The present status of the EPI project is outlined, including the addition of boost magnetic coils. These coils augment the self-generated rail gun magnetic field and thus provide a more efficient acceleration of the payload. The coils and the holder designed to constrain them have been modelled with the ANSYS code to ensure structural integrity through the range of operational coil cu
A new model of heating, current drive, torque and other effects of neutral beam injection on NSTX-U that uses neural networks has been developed. The model has been trained and tested on the results of the Monte Carlo code NUBEAM for the database of experimental discharges taken during the first operational campaign of NSTX-U. By projecting flux surface quantities onto empirically derived basis functions, the model is able to efficiently and accurately reproduce the behavior of both scalars, like the total neutron rate and shine through, and profiles, like beam current drive and heating. The model has been tested on the NSTX-U real-time computer, demonstrating a rapid execution time orders of magnitude faster than the Monte Carlo code that is well suited for the iterative calculations needed to interpret experimental results, optimization during scenario development activities, and real-time plasma control applications. Simulation results of a proposed design for a nonlinear observer that embeds the neural network calculations to estimate the poloidal flux profile evolution, as well as effective charge and fast ion diffusivity, are presented.
A reduced semi-empirical model using time-dependent axisymmetric vacuum field calculations is used to develop the prefill and feed-forward coil current targets required for reliable direct induction (DI) startup on the new MA-class spherical tokamaks, MAST-U and NSTX-U. The calculations are constrained by operational limits unique to each device, such as the geometry of the conductive elements and active coils, power supply specifications and coil heating and stress limits. The calculations are also constrained by semi-empirical models for sufficient breakdown, current drive, equilibrium and stability of the plasma developed from a shared database. A large database of DI startup on NSTX and NSTX-U is leveraged to quantify the requirements for achieving a reliable breakdown (Ip ~ 20 kA). It is observed that without pre-ionization, STs access the large E/P regime at modest loop voltage (Vloop) where the electrons in the weakly ionized plasma are continually accelerating along the open field lines. This ensures a rapid (order millisecond) breakdown of the neutral gas, even without pre-ionization or high-quality field nulls. The timescale of the initial increase in Ip on NSTX is reproduced in the reduced model provided a mechanism for impeding the applied electric field is included. Most discharges that fail in the startup phase are due to an inconsistency in the evolution of the plasma current (Ip) and equilibrium field or loss of vertical stability during the burn-through phase. The requirements for the self-consistent evolution of the fields in the weakly and full-ionized plasma states are derived from demonstrated DI startup on NSTX, NSTX-U and MAST. The predictive calculations completed for MAST-U and NSTX-U illustrate that the maximum Ip ramp rate (dIp/dt) in the early startup phase is limited by the voltage limits on the poloidal field coils on MAST-U and passive vertical stability on NSTX-U.
Experiments and predictions of surface wave damping in liquid metal due to a surface aligned magnetic field and externally regulated j × B force are presented. Fast-flowing, liquid-metal plasma facing components (LM-PFCs) are a proposed alternative to solid PFCs that are unable to handle the high heat flux, thermal stresses, and radiation damage in a tokamak. The significant technical challenges associated with LM-PFCs compared to solid PFCs are justified by greater heat flux management, self-healing properties, and reduced particle recycling. However, undesirable engineering challenges such as evaporation and splashing of the liquid metal introduce excessive impurities into the plasma and degrade plasma performance. Evaporation may be avoided through high-speed flow that limits temperature rise of the liquid metal by reducing heat flux exposure time, but as flow speed increases the surface may become more turbulent and prone to splashing and uneven surfaces. Wave damping is one mechanism that reduces surface disturbance and thus the chances of liquid metal impurity introduction into the plasma. Experiments on the Liquid Metal eXperiment Upgrade (LMX-U) examined damping under the influence of transverse magnetic fields and vertically directed Lorentz force.