F. M. Laggner, A. Diallo, B. P. LeBlanc, R. Rozenblat, G. Tchilinguirian, E.Kolemen, the NSTX-U team
A detailed description of a prototype setup for real-time (rt) Thomson scattering (TS) analysis is presented and implemented in the multi-point Thomson scattering (MPTS) diagnostic system at the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade(NSTX-U). The data acquisition hardware was upgraded with rt capable electronics (rt-analog digital converters (ADCs) and a rt server) that allow for fast digitization of the laser pulse signal of eight radial MPTS channels. In addition, a new TS spectrum analysis software for a rapid calculation of electron temperature (Te) and electron density (ne) was developed. Testing of the rt hardware and data analysis soft-ware was successfully completed and benchmarked against the standard, post-shot evaluation. Timing tests were performed showing that the end-to-end processing time was reproducibly below 17 ms for the duration of at least 5 s, meeting a 60 Hz deadline by the laser pulse repetition rate over the length of a NSTX-U discharge. The presented rt framework is designed to be scalable in system size, i.e. incorporation of additional radial channels by solely adding additional rt capable hardware. Furthermore, it is scalable in its operation duration and was continuously run for up to 30 min, making it an attractive solution for machines with long discharge duration such as advanced, non-inductive tokamaks or stellarators.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission has given us unprecedented access to high cadence particle and field data of magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause. MMS first passed very near an X-line on 16 October 2015, the Burch event, and has since observed multiple X-line crossings. Subsequent 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) modeling efforts of and comparison with the Burch event have revealed a host of novel physical insights concerning magnetic reconnection, turbulence induced particle mixing, and secondary instabilities. In this study, we employ the Gkeyll simulation framework to study the Burch event with different classes of extended, multi-fluid magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), including models that incorporate important kinetic effects, such as the electron pressure tensor, with physics-based closure relations designed to capture linear Landau damping. Such fluid modeling approaches are able to capture different levels of kinetic physics in global simulations and are generally less costly than fully kinetic PIC. We focus on the additional physics one can capture with increasing levels of fluid closure refinement via comparison with MMS data and existing PIC simulations. In particular, we find that the ten-moment model well captures the agyrotropic structure of the pressure tensor in the vicinity of the X-line and the magnitude of anisotropic electron heating observed in MMS and PIC simulations. However, the ten-moment model has difficulty resolving the lower hybrid drift instability, which has been observed to plays a fundamental role in heating and mixing electrons in the current layer.
Employment of non-inductive plasma start-up techniques would considerably simplify the design of a spherical tokamak fusion reactor. Transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) is a promising method, expected to scale favorably to next-step reactors. However, the implications of reactor-relevant parameters on the initial breakdown phase for CHI have not yet been considered. Here, we evaluate CHI breakdown in reactor-like configurations using an extension of the Townsend avalanche theory. We find that a CHI electrode concept in which the outer vessel wall is biased to achieve breakdown, while previously successful on NSTX and HIT-II, may exhibit a severe weakness when scaled up to a reactor. On the other hand, concepts which employ localized biasing electrodes such as those used in QUEST would avoid this issue. Assuming that breakdown can be successfully attained, we then apply scaling relationships to predict plasma parameters attainable in the transient CHI discharge. Assuming the use of 1 Wb of injector flux, we find that plasma currents of 1 MA should be achievable. Furthermore, these plasmas are expected to Ohmically self-heat with more than 1 MW of power as they decay, facilitating efficient hand-off to steady-state heating sources. These optimistic scalings are supported by TSC simulations.
Yang, Yuan; Pan, Ming; Beck, Hylke; Fisher, Colby; Beighley, R. Edward; Kao, Shih-Chieh; Hong, Yang; Wood, Eric
Conventional basin-by-basin approaches to calibrate hydrologic models are limited to gauged basins and typically result in spatially discontinuous parameter fields. Moreover, the consequent low calibration density in space falls seriously behind the need from present-day applications like high resolution river hydrodynamic modeling. In this study we calibrated three key parameters of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model at every 1/8° grid-cell using machine learning-based maps of four streamflow characteristics for the conterminous United States (CONUS), with a total of 52,663 grid-cells. This new calibration approach, as an alternative to parameter regionalization, applied to ungauged regions too. A key difference made here is that we tried to regionalize physical variables (streamflow characteristics) instead of model parameters whose behavior may often be less well understood. The resulting parameter fields no longer presented any spatial discontinuities and the patterns corresponded well with climate characteristics, such as aridity and runoff ratio. The calibrated parameters were evaluated against observed streamflow from 704/648 (calibration/validation period) small-to-medium-sized catchments used to derive the streamflow characteristics, 3941/3809 (calibration/validation period) small-to-medium-sized catchments not used to derive the streamflow characteristics) as well as five large basins. Comparisons indicated marked improvements in bias and Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. Model performance was still poor in arid and semiarid regions, which is mostly due to both model structural and forcing deficiencies. Although the performance gain was limited by the relative small number of parameters to calibrate, the study and results here served as a proof-of-concept for a new promising approach for fine-scale hydrologic model calibrations.
Explosive volcanic eruptions have large climate impacts, and can serve as observable tests of the climatic response to radiative forcing. Using a high resolution climate model, we contrast the climate responses to Pinatubo, with symmetric forcing, and those to Santa Maria and Agung, which had meridionally asymmetric forcing. Although Pinatubo had larger global-mean forcing, asymmetric forcing strongly shifts the latitude of tropical rainfall features, leading to larger local precipitation/TC changes. For example, North Atlantic TC activity over is enhanced/reduced by SH-forcing (Agung)/NH-forcing (Santa Maria), but changes little in response to the Pinatubo forcing. Moreover, the transient climate sensitivity estimated from the response to Santa Maria is 20% larger than that from Pinatubo or Agung. This spread in climatic impacts of volcanoes needs to be considered when evaluating the role of volcanoes in global and regional climate, and serves to contextualize the well-observed response to Pinatubo.
Dust and starlight have been modeled for the KINGFISH project galaxies. For each pixel in each galaxy, we estimate: (1) dust surface density; (2) q_PAH, the dust mass fraction in PAHs; (3) distribution of starlight intensities heating the dust; (4) luminosity emitted by the dust; and (5) dust luminosity from regions with high starlight intensity. The modeling is as described in the paper "Modeling Dust and Starlight in Galaxies Observed by Spitzer and Herschel: The KINGFISH Sample", by G. Aniano, B.T. Draine, L.K. Hunt, K. Sandstrom, D. Calzetti, R.C. Kennicutt, D.A, Dale, and 26 other authors, accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
Force-driven parallel shear flow in a spatially periodic domain is shown to be linearly unstable
with respect to both the Reynolds number and the domain aspect ratio. This finding is confirmed
by computer simulations, and a simple expression is derived to determine stable flow conditions.
Periodic extensions of Couette and Poiseuille flows are unstable at Reynolds numbers two orders
of magnitude smaller than their aperiodic equivalents because the periodic boundaries impose
fundamentally different constraints. This instability has important implications for designing computational models of nonlinear dynamic processes with periodicity.
The data are 4554 light curves derived from images taken of the globular cluster M4 by the Kepler space telescope during the K2 portion of its mission, specifically during Campaign 2 of that mission, which occurred in 2014. A total of 3856 images were taken over approximately three months at a cadence of approximately half an hour. The purpose of these observations was to find stars and other objects that vary in brightness over time --- variable stars. Also included is a table with associated information for each of the 4554 objects and their light curves.
Since 1850 the concentration of atmospheric methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas, has more than doubled. Recent studies suggest that emission inventories may be missing sources and underestimating emissions. To investigate whether offshore oil and gas platforms leak CH4 during normal operation, we measured CH4 mole fractions around eight oil and gas production platforms in the North Sea which were neither flaring gas nor off-loading oil. We use the measurements from summer 2017, along with meteorological data, in a Gaussian plume model to estimate CH4 emissions from each platform. We find CH4 mole fractions of between 11 and 370 ppb above background concentrations downwind of the platforms measured, corresponding to a median CH4 emission of 6.8 g CH4 s-1 for each platform, with a range of 2.9 to 22.3 g CH4 s-1. When matched to production records, during our measurements individual platforms lost between 0.04% and 1.4% of gas produced with a median loss of 0.23%. When the measured platforms are considered collectively, (i.e. the sum of platforms’ emission fluxes weighted by the sum of the platforms’ production), we estimate the CH4 loss to be 0.19% of gas production. These estimates are substantially higher than the emissions most recently reported to the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory (NAEI) for total CH4 loss from United Kingdom platforms in the North Sea. The NAEI reports CH4 losses from the offshore oil and gas platforms we measured to be 0.13% of gas production, with most of their emissions coming from gas flaring and offshore oil loading, neither of which were taking place at the time of our measurements. All oil and gas platforms we observed were found to leak CH4 during normal operation and much of this leakage has not been included in UK emission inventories. Further research is required to accurately determine total CH4 leakage from all offshore oil and gas operations and to properly include the leakage in national and international emission inventories.
Schwartz, Jacob; Emdee, Eric; Goldston, Robert; Jaworski, Michael
The lithium vapor box divertor is a potential solution for power exhaust in toroidal confinement devices. The divertor plasma interacts with a localized, dense cloud of lithium vapor, leading to volumetric radiation, cooling, recombination, and detachment. To minimize contamination of the core plasma, lithium vapor is condensed on cool (300°C to 400°C) baffles upstream of the detachment point. Before implementing this in a toroidal plasma device with a slot divertor geometry, we consider an experiment with a scaled baffled-pipe geometry in the high-power linear plasma device Magnum-PSI. Three 15 cm-scale open cylinders joined by 6 cm diameter ‘nozzles’ are positioned on the plasma beam axis upstream of a target. The central box may be loaded with several tens of grams of lithium, which can be evaporated at 650°C to produce a vapor predicted, using a simple plasma-neutral interaction model, to be dense enough to cause volumetric detachment in the plasma. The power delivered to the target and box walls as measured by increases in their temperatures after a 10 s plasma pulse can be compared to determine the effectiveness of the vapor in detaching the plasma. Direct Simulation Monte Carlo simulations are performed to estimate the flow rates of lithium vapor between the boxes and to estimate the trapping of H2 delivered by the plasma in the boxes, which could inadvertently lead to detachment. Details of the geometry, simulations, and possible diagnostic techniques are presented.
Berryman, Eleanor J.; Winey, J. M.; Gupta, Yogendra M.; Duffy, Thomas S.
Stishovite (rutile-type SiO2) is the archetype of dense silicates and may occur in post-garnet eclogitic rocks at lower-mantle conditions. Sound velocities in stishovite are fundamental to understanding its mechanical and thermodynamic behavior at high pressure and temperature. Here, we use plate-impact experiments combined with velocity interferometry to determine the stress, density, and longitudinal sound speed in stishovite formed during shock compression of fused silica at 44 GPa and above. The measured sound speeds range from 12.3(8) km/s at 43.8(8) GPa to 9.8(4) km/s at 72.7(11) GPa. The decrease observed at 64 GPa reacts a decrease in the shear modulus of stishovite, likely due to the onset of melting. By 72 GPa, the measured sound speed agrees with the theoretical bulk sound speed indicating loss of all shear stiffness due to complete melting. Our sound velocity results provide direct evidence for shock-induced melting, in agreement with previous pyrometry data.
In 2017, seven members of the Archive-It Mid-Atlantic Users Group (AITMA) conducted a study of 14 subjects representative of their stakeholder populations to assess the usability of Archive-It, a web archiving subscription service of the Internet Archive. While Archive-It is the most widely-used tool for web archiving, little is known about how users interact with the service. This study intended to teach us what users expect from web archives, which exist as another form of archival material. End-user subjects executed four search tasks using the public Archive-It interface and the Wayback Machine to access archived information on websites from the facilitators’ own harvested collections and provide feedback about their experiences. The tasks were designed to have straightforward pass or fail outcomes, and the facilitators took notes on the subjects’ behavior and commentary during the sessions. Overall, participants reported mildly positive impressions of Archive-It public user interface based on their session. The study identified several key areas of improvement for the Archive-It service pertaining to metadata options, terminology display, indexing of dates, and the site’s search box.
Spontaneous multi-keV electron generation in a low-RF-power axisymmetric mirror machine
X-ray emission shows the existence of multi-keV electrons in low-temperature, low-power, capacitively-coupled RF-heated magnetic-mirror plasmas that also contain a warm (300 eV) minority electron population. Though these warm electrons are initially passing particles, we suggest that collisionless scattering -- mu non-conservation in the static vacuum field -- is responsible for a minority of them to persist in the mirror cell for thousands of transits during which time a fraction are energized to a characteristic temperature of 3 keV, with some electrons reaching energies above 30 keV. A heuristic model of the heating by a Fermi-acceleration-like mechanism is presented, with mu non-conservation in the static vacuum field as an essential feature.
Experiments and predictions of surface wave damping in liquid metal due to a surface aligned magnetic field and externally regulated j × B force are presented. Fast-flowing, liquid-metal plasma facing components (LM-PFCs) are a proposed alternative to solid PFCs that are unable to handle the high heat flux, thermal stresses, and radiation damage in a tokamak. The significant technical challenges associated with LM-PFCs compared to solid PFCs are justified by greater heat flux management, self-healing properties, and reduced particle recycling. However, undesirable engineering challenges such as evaporation and splashing of the liquid metal introduce excessive impurities into the plasma and degrade plasma performance. Evaporation may be avoided through high-speed flow that limits temperature rise of the liquid metal by reducing heat flux exposure time, but as flow speed increases the surface may become more turbulent and prone to splashing and uneven surfaces. Wave damping is one mechanism that reduces surface disturbance and thus the chances of liquid metal impurity introduction into the plasma. Experiments on the Liquid Metal eXperiment Upgrade (LMX-U) examined damping under the influence of transverse magnetic fields and vertically directed Lorentz force.
Active control of the toroidal current density profile is critical for the upgraded National Spherical Torus eXperiment device (NSTX-U) to maintain operation at the desired high-performance, MHD-stable, plasma regime. Initial efforts towards current density profile control have led to the development of a control-oriented, physics-based, plasma-response model, which combines the magnetic diffusion equation with empirical correlations for the kinetic profiles and the non-inductive current sources. The developed control-oriented model has been successfully tailored to the NSTX-U geometry and actuators. Moreover, a series of efforts have been made towards the design of model-based controllers, including a linear-quadratic-integral optimal control strategy that can regulate the current density profile around a prescribed target profile while rejecting disturbances. In this work, the tracking performance of the proposed current-profile optimal controller is tested in numerical simulations based on the physics-oriented code TRANSP. These high-fidelity closed-loop simulations, which are a critical step before experimental implementation and testing, are enabled by a flexible framework recently
developed to perform feedback control design and simulation in TRANSP.