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Mitigation of Alfvénic activity by 3D magnetic perturbations on NSTX

  • Author(s): Kramer, GJ
  • Bortolon, A
  • Ferraro, NM
  • Spong, DA
  • Crocker, NA
  • Darrow, DS
  • Fredrickson, ED
  • Kubota, S
  • Park, JK
  • Podestà, M
  • Heidbrink, WW
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. Observations on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) indicate that externally applied non-axisymmetric magnetic perturbations (MP) can reduce the amplitude of toroidal Alfvén eigenmodes (TAE) and global Alfvén eigenmodes (GAE) in response to pulsed n = 3 non-resonant fields. From full-orbit following Monte Carlo simulations with the one- and two-fluid resistive MHD plasma response to the magnetic perturbation included, it was found that in response to MP pulses the fast-ion losses increased and the fast-ion drive for the GAEs was reduced. The MP did not affect the fast-ion drive for the TAEs significantly but the Alfvén continuum at the plasma edge was found to be altered due to the toroidal symmetry breaking which leads to coupling of different toroidal harmonics. The TAE gap was reduced at the edge creating enhanced continuum damping of the global TAEs, which is consistent with the observations. The results suggest that optimized non-axisymmetric MP might be exploited to control and mitigate Alfvén instabilities by tailoring the fast-ion distribution function and/or continuum structure.

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