Thin film Faraday cup detectors can provide measurements of fast ion loss from magnetically confined fusion plasmas. These multilayer detectors can resolve the energy distribution of the lost ions in addition to giving the total loss rate. Prior detectors were assembled from discrete foils and insulating sheets. Outlined here is a design methodology for creating detectors using thin film deposition that are suited to particular scientific goals. The intention is to use detectors created by this method on JET and NSTX-U. The detectors will consist of alternating layers of aluminum and silicon dioxide, with layer thicknesses chosen to isolate energies of interest. Thin film deposition offers the advantage of relatively simple and more mechanically robust construction compared to other methods, as well as allowing precise control of film thickness. Furthermore, this depositional fabrication technique places the layers in intimate thermal contact, providing for three-dimensional conduction and dissipation of the ion-produced heating in the layers, rather than the essentially two-dimensional heat conduction in the discrete foil stack implementation.
A scintillator type fast ion loss detector measures the gyroradius and pitch angle distribution of superthermal ions escaping from a magnetically confined fusion plasma at a single location. Described here is a technique for optimizing the angular orientation of such a detector in an axisymmetric tokamak geometry in order to intercept losses over a useful and interesting ranges of pitch angle. The method consists of evaluating the detector acceptance as a function of the fast ion constants of motion, i.e. energy, canonical toroidal momentum, and magnetic moment. The detector acceptance can then be plotted in a plane of constant energy and compared with the relevant orbit class boundaries and fast ion source distributions. Knowledge of expected or interesting mechanisms of loss can further guide selection of the detector orientation. The example of a fast ion loss detector for the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) is considered.