Bertelli, N; Valeo, E.J.; Green, D.L.; Gorelenkova, M.; Phillips, C.K.; Podesta, M.; Lee, J.P.; Wright, J.C.; Jaeger, E.
At the power levels required for significant heating and current drive
in magnetically-confined toroidal plasma, modification of the particle distribution
function from a Maxwellian shape is likely [T. H. Stix, Nucl. Fusion, 15 737
(1975)], with consequent changes in wave propagation and in the location and
amount of absorption. In order to study these effects computationally, both the
finite-Larmor-radius and the high-harmonic fast wave (HHFW), versions of the
full-wave, hot-plasma toroidal simulation code TORIC [M. Brambilla, Plasma Phys.
Control. Fusion 41, 1 (1999) and M. Brambilla, Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion
44, 2423 (2002)], have been extended to allow the prescription of arbitrary velocity
distributions of the form f(v||, v_perp, psi , theta). For hydrogen (H) minority heating of a
deuterium (D) plasma with anisotropic Maxwellian H distributions, the fractional
H absorption varies significantly with changes in parallel temperature but is
essentially independent of perpendicular temperature. On the other hand, for
HHFW regime with anisotropic Maxwellian fast ion distribution, the fractional
beam ion absorption varies mainly with changes in the perpendicular temperature.
The evaluation of the wave-field and power absorption, through the full wave
solver, with the ion distribution function provided by either aMonte-Carlo particle
and Fokker-Planck codes is also examined for Alcator C-Mod and NSTX plasmas.
Non-Maxwellian effects generally tends to increase the absorption with respect to
the equivalent Maxwellian distribution.
The ability of an injected lithium granule to promptly trigger an edge localized mode (ELM) has been established in multiple experiments. By horizontally injecting granules ranging in diameter from 200 microns to 1mm in diameter into the low field side of EAST H-mode discharges we have determined that granules with diameter > 600 microns are successful in triggering ELMs more than 95% of the time. It was also demonstrated that below 600 microns the triggering efficiency decreased roughly with granule size. Granules were radially injected from the outer midplane with velocities ~ 80 m/s into EAST upper single null discharges with an ITER like tungsten monoblock divertor. These granules were individually tracked throughout their injection cycle in order to determine their efficacy at triggering an ELM. For those granules of sufficient size, ELM triggering was a prompt response to granule injection. By simulating the granule injection with an experimentally benchmarked neutral gas shielding (NGS) model, the ablatant mass deposition required to promptly trigger an ELM is calculated and the fractional mass deposition is determined.
Non-axisymmetric control coils and the so-called snowflake divertor configuration are two potential solutions proposed to solve two separate outstanding issues on the path towards self-sustained burning plasma operations, namely the transient energy bursts caused by edge localized modes and the steady state heat exhaust problem. In a reactor, these two proposed solutions would have to operate simultaneously and it is, therefore, important to investigate their compatibility and to identify possible conflicts that could prevent them from operating simultaneously. In this work, single- and two-fluid resistive magnetohydrodynamic calculations are used to investigate the effect of externally applied magnetic perturbations on the snowflake divertor configuration. The calculations are based on simulated NSTX-U plasmas and the results show that additional and longer magnetic lobes are created in the null-point region of the snowflake configuration, compared to those in the conventional single-null. The intersection of these longer and additional lobes with the divertor plates are expected to cause more striations in the particle and heat flux target profiles. In addition, the results indicate that the size of the magnetic lobes, in both single-null and snowflake configurations, are more sensitive to resonant magnetic perturbations than to non-resonant magnetic perturbations. The results also suggest that lower values of current in non-axisymmetric control coils would be required to suppress edge localized modes in plasmas with the snowflake configuration.
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.
The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) has undergone a major upgrade, and the NSTX Upgrade (NSTX-U) Project was completed in the summer of 2015. NSTX-U first plasma was subsequently achieved, diagnostic and control systems have been commissioned, H-Mode accessed, magnetic error fields identified and mitigated, and the first physics research campaign carried out. During 10 run weeks of operation, NSTX-U surpassed NSTX-record pulse-durations and toroidal fields, and high-performance ~1MA H-mode plasmas comparable to the best of NSTX have been sustained near and slightly above the n=1 no-wall stability limit and with H-mode confinement multiplier H98y2 above 1. Transport and turbulence studies in L-mode plasmas have identified the coexistence of at least two ion-gyro-scale turbulent micro-instabilities near the same radial location but propagating in opposite (i.e. ion and electron diamagnetic) directions. These modes have the characteristics of ion-temperature gradient and micro-tearing modes, respectively, and the role of these modes in contributing to thermal transport is under active investigation. The new second more tangential neutral beam injection was observed to significantly modify the stability of two types of Alfven Eigenmodes. Improvements in offline disruption forecasting were made in the areas of identification of rotating MHD modes and other macroscopic instabilities using the Disruption Event Characterization and Forecasting (DECAF) code. Lastly, the Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) was utilized on NSTX-U for the first time and enabled assessments of the correlation between boronized wall conditions and plasma performance. These and other highlights from the first run campaign of NSTX-U are described.
Recent advances in experimental techniques have allowed the simultaneous recordings of
populations of hundreds of neurons, fostering a debate about the nature of the collective
structure of population neural activity. Much of this debate has focused on the
empirical findings of a phase transition in the parameter space of maximum entropy
models describing the measured neural probability distributions, interpreting this phase
transition to indicate a critical tuning of the neural code. Here, we instead focus on the
possibility that this is a first-order phase transition which provides evidence that the
real neural population is in a `structured', collective state. We show that this collective
state is robust to changes in stimulus ensemble and adaptive state. We find that the
pattern of pairwise correlations between neurons has a strength that is well within the
strongly correlated regime and does not require fine tuning, suggesting that this state is
generic for populations of 100+ neurons. We find a clear correspondence between the
emergence of a phase transition, and the emergence of attractor-like structure in the
inferred energy landscape. A collective state in the neural population, in which neural
activity patterns naturally form clusters, provides a consistent interpretation for our