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.
The WallDYN package has recently been applied to a number of tokamaks to self-consistently model
the evolution of mixed-material plasma facing surfaces. A key component of the WallDYN model is the
concentration-dependent surface sputtering rate, calculated using SDTRIM.SP. This modeled sputtering
rate is strongly influenced by the surface binding energies (SBEs) of the constituent materials, which
are well known for pure elements but often are poorly constrained for mixed-materials. This work examines
the sensitivity of WallDYN surface evolution calculations to different models for mixed-material
SBEs, focusing on the carbon/lithium/oxygen/deuterium system present in NSTX. A realistic plasma background is reconstructed from a high density, H-mode NSTX discharge, featuring an attached outer strike
point with local density and temperature of 4e20 m^-3 and 4 eV, respectively. It is found that various
mixed-material SBE models lead to significant qualitative and quantitative changes in the surface evolution
profile at the outer divertor, with the highest leverage parameter being the C-Li binding model.
Uncertainties of order 50%, appearing on time scales relevant to tokamak experiments, highlight the importance of choosing an appropriate mixed-material sputtering representation when modeling the surface
evolution of plasma facing components. These results are generalized to other fusion-relevant materials
with different ranges of SBEs.
Linear stability analysis of the national spherical torus experiment (NSTX) Li-conditioned
ELM-free H-mode equilibria is carried out in the context of the extended
magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) model in NIMROD. The purpose is to investigate the physical
cause behind edge localized mode (ELM) suppression in experiment after the Li-coating of
the divertor and the first wall of the NSTX tokamak. Besides ideal MHD modeling, including
finite-Larmor radius effect and two-fluid Hall and electron diamagnetic drift contributions,
a non-ideal resistivity model is employed, taking into account the increase of Z eff after
Li-conditioning in ELM-free H-mode. Unlike an earlier conclusion from an eigenvalue code
analysis of these equilibria, NIMROD results find that after reduced recycling from divertor
plates, profile modification is necessary but insufficient to explain the mechanism behind
complete ELMs suppression in ideal two-fluid MHD. After considering the higher plasma
resistivity due to higher Z eff , the complete stabilization could be explained. A thorough
analysis of both pre-lithium ELMy and with-lithium ELM-free cases using ideal and
non-ideal MHD models is presented, after accurately including a vacuum-like cold halo
region in NIMROD to investigate ELMs.
In this paper we present data from experiments on NSTX-U where it is shown for the first time that small amounts of high pitch-angle beam ions can strongly suppress the counter-propagating Global Alfvén Eigenmodes (GAE). GAE have been implicated in the redistribution of fast ions and modification of the electron power balance in previous experiments on NSTX. The ability to predict the stability of Alfvén modes, and developing methods to control them, is important for fusion reactor like the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) which are heated by a large population of non-thermal, super-Alfvénic ions consisting of fusion generated alphas and beam ions injected for current profile control. We present a qualitative interpretation of these observations using an analytic model of the Doppler-shifted ion-cyclotron resonance drive responsible for GAE instability which has an important dependence on k⊥ρL. A quantitative analysis of this data with the HYM stability code predicts both the frequencies and instability of the GAE prior to, and suppression of the GAE after the injection of high pitch-angle beam ions.
Radio-frequency (RF) rectification is an important sheath phenomenon for wave heating of plasma in fusion devices and is proposed to be the mechanism responsible for converting highharmonic fast-wave (HHFW) power in the National Spherical Torus eXperiment (NSTX) into a heat ux to the divertor. RF rectification has two aspects: current rectification and voltage recti- fication, and, while the latter is emphasized in many application, we demonstrate the importance of current rectification in analysis of the NSTX divertor during HHFW heating. When rectified currents are accounted for in first-principle models for the heat ux to the tiles, we predict a sizeable enhancement for the heat ux in the presence of an RF field: for one case studied, the predicted heat ux increases from 0:103 MW=m2 to 0:209 MW=m2. We also demonstrate how this rectification scales with injected HHFW power by tracking probe characteristics during a HHFW power ramp; the rectified current may be clamped at a certain level. This work is important for minimizing SOL losses of HHFW power in NSTX-U but may also have implications for near-field studies of ICRF antennae: ignoring rectified current may lead to underestimated heat uxes and overestimated rectified voltages.
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
The 2-D radial vs. poloidal cross-correlation functions of edge plasma turbulence were measured near the outer midplane using the gas puff imaging (GPI) diagnostic on NSTX. These correlation functions were evaluated at radii r= 0 cm, ±3 cm, and ±6 cm from the separatrix and poloidal locations p=0 cm and ±7.5 cm from the GPI poloidal center line for 20 different shots. The ellipticity ε and tilt angle φ of the positive cross- correlation regions, and the minimum negative cross-correlation “cmin” and total negative over positive values “neg/pos” were evaluated for each of these cases. The average results over this data set were ε=2.2±0.9, φ=87±34o (i.e. poloidally oriented), cmin= -0.30±0.15, and neg/pos=0.25±0.24. Thus there was significant variation in these correlation results within this database, with dependences on the location within the image, the magnetic geometry, and the plasma parameters. Possible causes for this variation are discussed, including the misalignment of the GPI view with the local B field line, the magnetic shear of field lines in the edge, the poloidal flow shear of the turbulence, blob-hole correlations, and the neutral density ‘shadowing’ effect in GPI.
It is well known that formation of new episodic memories depends on hippocampus, but in real-life settings (e.g., conversation), hippocampal amnesics can utilize information from several minutes earlier. What neural systems outside hippocampus might support this minutes-long retention? In this study, subjects viewed an audiovisual movie continuously for 25 min; another group viewed the movie in 2 parts separated by a 1-day delay. Understanding Part 2 depended on retrieving information from Part 1, and thus hippocampus was required in the day-delay condition. But is hippocampus equally recruited to access the same information from minutes earlier? We show that accessing memories from a few minutes prior elicited less interaction between hippocampus and default mode network (DMN) cortical regions than accessing day-old memories of identical events, suggesting that recent information was available with less reliance on hippocampal retrieval. Moreover, the 2 groups evinced
reliable but distinct DMN activity timecourses, reflecting differences in information carried in these regions when Part 1 was recent versus distant. The timecourses converged after 4 min, suggesting a time frame over which the continuous-viewing group may have relied less on hippocampal retrieval. We propose that cortical default mode regions can intrinsically retain real-life episodic information for several minutes.
A compact and multi-view Solid State Neutral Particle Analyzer (SSNPA) diagnostic based on silicon photodiode arrays has been successfully tested on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). The SSNPA diagnostic provides spatially, temporally, and pitch-angle resolved measurements of fast-ion distribution by detecting fast neutral flux resulting from charge exchange (CX) reactions. The system consists of three 16-channel subsystems: t-SSNPA viewing the plasma mid-radius and neutral beam (NB) line #2 tangentially, r-SSNPA viewing the plasma core and NB line #1 radially and p-SSNPA with no intersection with any NB lines. Due to the setup geometry, the active CX signals of t-SSNPA and r-SSNPA are mainly sensitive to passing and trapped particles respectively. In addition, both t-SSNPA and r-SSNPA utilize three vertically stacked arrays with different filter thickness to obtain coarse energy information. The experimental data show that all channels are operational. The signal to noise ratio is typically larger than 10 and the main noise is x-ray induced signal. The active and passive CX signals are clearly observed on t-SSNPA and r-SSNPA during NB modulation. The SSNPA data also indicate significant losses of passing particles during sawteeth, while trapped particles are weakly affected. Fluctuations up to 120 kHz, have been observed on SSNPA, and they are strongly correlated with magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) instabilities.