Regarding the optimization of O1-mode ECRH and the feasibility of EBW startup on NSTX-U

Lopez, N; Poli, F
Issue date: June 2018
Cite as:
Lopez, N & Poli, F. (2018). Regarding the optimization of O1-mode ECRH and the feasibility of EBW startup on NSTX-U [Data set]. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University.
  author      = {Lopez, N and
                Poli, F},
  title       = {{Regarding the optimization of O1-mode EC
                RH and the feasibility of EBW startup on
  publisher   = {{Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Pri
                nceton University}},
  year        = 2018

Recently published scenarios for fully non-inductive startup and operation on the National Spherical Torus eXperiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) (Menard et al 2012 Nucl. Fusion 52 083015) show Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH) as an important component in preparing a target plasma for efficient High Harmonic Fast Wave and Neutral Beam heating. The modeling of the propagation and absorption of EC waves in the evolving plasma is required to define the most effective window of operation, and to optimize the launcher geometry for maximal heating and current drive during this window. Here, we extend a previous optimization of O1-mode ECRH on NSTX-U to account for the full time-dependent performance of the ECRH using simulations performed with TRANSP. We find that the evolution of the density profile has a prominent role in the optimization by defining the time window of operation, which in certain cases may be a more important metric to compare launcher performance than the average power absorption. This feature cannot be captured by analysis on static profiles, and should be accounted for when optimizing ECRH on any device that operates near the cutoff density. Additionally, the utility of the electron Bernstein wave (EBW) in driving current and generating closed flux surfaces in the early startup phase has been demonstrated on a number of devices. Using standalone GENRAY simulations, we find that efficient EBW current drive is possible on NSTX-U if the injection angle is shifted below the midplane and aimed towards the top half of the vacuum vessel. However, collisional damping of the EBW is projected to be significant, in some cases accounting for up to 97% of the absorbed EBW power

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