A comprehensive numerical study has been conducted in order to investigate the stability of beam-driven, sub-cyclotron frequency compressional (CAE) and global (GAE) Alfven Eigenmodes in low aspect ratio plasmas for a wide range of beam parameters. The presence of CAEs and GAEs has previously been linked to anomalous electron temperature profile flattening at high beam power in NSTX experiments, prompting further examination of the conditions for their excitation. Linear simulations are performed with the hybrid MHD-kinetic initial value code HYM in order to capture the general Doppler-shifted cyclotron resonance that drives the modes. Three distinct types of modes are found in simulations -- co-CAEs, cntr-GAEs, and co-GAEs -- with differing spectral and stability properties. The simulations reveal that unstable GAEs are more ubiquitous than unstable CAEs, consistent with experimental observations, as they are excited at lower beam energies and generally have larger growth rates. Local analytic theory is used to explain key features of the simulation results, including the preferential excitation of different modes based on beam injection geometry and the growth rate dependence on the beam injection velocity, critical velocity, and degree of velocity space anisotropy. The background damping rate is inferred from simulations and estimated analytically for relevant sources not present in the simulation model, indicating that co-CAEs are closer to marginal stability than modes driven by the cyclotron resonances.
Kaita, R.; Lucia, M.; Allain, J. P.; Bedoya, F.; Capece, A.; Jaworski, M.; Koel, B. E.; Majeski, R.; Roszell, J.; Schmitt, J.; Scotti, F.; Skinner, C. H.; Soukhanovskii, V.
The application of lithium to plasma-facing components (PFCs) has long been used as a technique for wall conditioning in magnetic confinement devices to improve plasma performance. Determining the characteristics of PFCs at the time of exposure to the plasma, however, is difficult because they can only be analyzed after venting the vacuum vessel and removing them at the end of an operational period. The Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) addresses this problem by enabling PFC samples to be exposed to plasmas, and then withdrawn into an analysis chamber without breaking vacuum. The MAPP system was used to introduce samples that matched the metallic PFCs of the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX). Lithium that was subsequently evaporated onto the walls also covered the MAPP samples, which were then subject to LTX discharges. In vacuo extraction and analysis of the samples indicated that lithium oxide formed on the PFCs, but improved plasma performance persisted in LTX. The reduced recycling this suggests is consistent with separate surface science experiments that demonstrated deuterium retention in the presence of lithium oxide films. Since oxygen decreases the thermal stability of the deuterium in the film, the release of deuterium was observed below the lithium deuteride dissociation temperature. This may explain what occurred when lithium was applied to the surface of the NSTX Liquid Lithium Divertor (LLD). The LLD had segments with individual heaters, and the deuterium-alpha emission was clearly lower in the cooler regions. The plan for NSTX-U is to replace the graphite tiles with high-Z PFCs, and apply lithium to their surfaces with lithium evaporation. Experiments with lithium coatings on such PFCs suggest that deuterium could still be retained if lithium compounds form, but limiting their surface temperatures may be necessary.
Mollen Albert; Adams Mark F.; Knepley Matthew G.; Hager Robert; Chang C. S.
The global total-f gyrokinetic particle-in-cell code XGC, used to study transport in magnetic fusion plasmas or to couple with a core gyrokinetic code while functioning as an edge gyrokinetic code, implements a 5-dimensional (5D) continuum grid to perform the dissipative operations, such as plasma collisions, or to exchange the particle distribution function information with a core code. To transfer the distribution function between marker particles and a rectangular 2D velocity-space grid, XGC employs a bilinear mapping. The conservation of particle density and momentum is accurate enough in this bilinear operation, but the error in the particle energy conservation can become undesirably large and cause non-negligible numerical heating in a steep edge pedestal. In the present work we update XGC to use a novel mapping technique, based on the calculation of a pseudo-inverse, to exactly preserve moments up to the order of the discretization space. We describe the details of the implementation and we demonstrate the reduced interpolation error for a tokamak test plasma by using 1st- and 2nd-order elements with the pseudo-inverse method and comparing to the bilinear mapping.
Using a recently installed impurity powder dropper (IPD), boron powder (< 150 μm) was injected into lower single null (LSN) L-mode discharges in WEST. IPDs possibly enable real-time wall conditioning of the plasma-facing components and may help to facilitate H-mode access in the full-tungsten environment of WEST. The discharges in this experiment featured Ip = 0.5 MA, BT = 3.7 T, q95 = 4.3, tpulse = 12–30 s, ne,0 ~ 4×1019 m-2, and PLHCD ~ 4.5 MW. Estimates of the deuterium and impurity particle fluxes, derived from a combination of visible spectroscopy measurements and their corresponding S/XB coefficients, showed decreases of ~ 50% in O+, N+, and C+ populations during powder injection and a moderate reduction of these low-Z impurities (~ 50%) and W (~ 10%) in the discharges that followed powder injection. Along with the improved wall conditions, WEST discharges with B powder injection observed improved confinement, as the stored energy WMHD, neutron rate, and electron temperature Te increased significantly (10–25% for WMHD and 60–200% for the neutron rate) at constant input power. These increases in confinement scale up with the powder drop rate and are likely due to the suppression of ion temperature gradient (ITG) turbulence from changes in Zeff and/or modifications to the electron density profile.
A real-time velocity (RTV) diagnostic based on active charge-exchange recombination spectroscopy is now operational on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) spherical torus (Menard et al 2012 Nucl. Fusion 52 083015). The system has been designed to supply plasma velocity data in real time to the NSTX-U plasma control system, as required for the implementation of toroidal rotation control. Measurements are available from four radii at a maximum sampling frequency of 5 kHz. Post-discharge analysis of RTV data provides additional information on ion temperature, toroidal velocity and density of carbon impurities. Examples of physics studies enabled by RTV measurements from initial operations of NSTX-U are discussed.