Development of a reduced model for energetic particle transport by sawteeth in tokamaks

Podesta, Mario
Issue date: 2021
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY)
Cite as:
Podesta, Mario. (2021). Development of a reduced model for energetic particle transport by sawteeth in tokamaks [Data set]. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University.
  author      = {Podesta, Mario},
  title       = {{Development of a reduced model for energ
                etic particle transport by sawteeth in t
  publisher   = {{Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Pri
                nceton University}},
  year        = 2021,
  url         = {}

The sawtooth instability is known for inducing transport and loss of energetic particles (EPs), and for generating seed magnetic islands that can trigger tearing modes. Both effects degrade the overall plasma performance. Several theories and numerical models have been previously developed to quantify the expected EP transport caused by sawteeth, with various degrees of sophistication to differentiate the response of EPs at different energies and on different orbits (e.g. passing vs. trapped), although the analysis is frequently limited to a single time slice during a tokamak discharge. This work describes the development and initial benchmark of a framework that enables a reduced model for EP transport by sawteeth retaining the full EP phase-space information. The model, implemented in the ORBIT hamiltonian particle-following code, can be used either as a standalone post-processor taking input data from codes such as TRANSP, or as a pre-processor to compute transport coefficients that can be fed back to TRANSP for time-dependent simulations including the effects of sawteeth on EPs. The advantage of the latter approach is that the evolution of the EP distribution can be simulated quantitatively for sawtoothing discharges, thus enabling a more accurate modeling of sources, sinks and overall transport properties of EP and thermal plasma species for comprehensive physics studies that require detailed information of the fast-ion distribution function and its evolution over time.

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