Experimental studies on fast-ion transport by Alfvén wave avalanches on the National Spherical Torus Experiment

Podestà, M.; Heidbrink, W. W.; Liu, D.; Ruskov, E.; Bell, R. E.; Darrow, D. S.; Fredrickson, E. D.; Gorelenkov, N. N.; Kramer, G. J.; LeBlanc, B. P.; Medley, S. S.; Roquemore, A. L.; Crocker, N. A.; Kubota, S.; Yuh, H.
May 2009
Physics of Plasmas;May2009, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p056104
Academic Journal
Fast-ion transport induced by Alfvén eigenmodes (AEs) is studied in beam-heated plasmas on the National Spherical Torus Experiment [Ono et al., Nucl. Fusion 40, 557 (2000)] through space, time, and energy resolved measurements of the fast-ion population. Fast-ion losses associated with multiple toroidicity-induced AEs (TAEs), which interact nonlinearly and terminate in avalanches, are characterized. A depletion of the energy range >20 keV, leading to sudden drops of up to 40% in the neutron rate over 1 ms, is observed over a broad spatial range. It is shown that avalanches lead to a relaxation of the fast-ion profile, which in turn reduces the drive for the instabilities. The measured radial eigenmode structure and frequency of TAEs are compared with the predictions from a linear magnetohydrodynamics stability code. The partial disagreement suggests that nonlinearities may compromise a direct comparison between experiment and linear theory.


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