Zhu, Hongxuan; Stoltzfus-Dueck, T; Hager, R; Ku, S; Chang, C. S.
Ion orbit loss is considered important for generating the radially inward electric field Er in a tokamak edge plasma. In particular, this effect is emphasized in diverted tokamaks with a magnetic X point. In neoclassical equilibria, Coulomb collisions can scatter ions onto loss orbits and generate a radially outward current, which in steady state is balanced by the radially inward current from viscosity. To quantitatively measure this loss-orbit current in an edge pedestal, an ion-orbit-flux diagnostic has been implemented in the axisymmetric version of the gyrokinetic particle-in-cell code XGC. As the first application of this diagnostic, a neoclassical DIII-D H-mode plasma is studied using gyrokinetic ions and adiabatic electrons. The validity of the diagnostic is demonstrated by studying the collisional relaxation of Er in the core. After this demonstration, the loss-orbit current is numerically measured in the edge pedestal in quasisteady state. In this plasma, it is found that the radial electric force on ions from Er approximately balances the ion radial pressure gradient in the edge pedestal, with the radial force from the plasma flow term being a minor component. The effect of orbit loss on Er is found to be only mild.