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A description of the full-particle-orbit-following SPIRAL code for simulating fast-ion experiments in tokamaks

  • Author(s): Kramer, GJ
  • Budny, RV
  • Bortolon, A
  • Fredrickson, ED
  • Fu, GY
  • Heidbrink, WW
  • Nazikian, R
  • Valeo, E
  • Van Zeeland, MA
  • et al.
Abstract

The numerical methods used in the full particle-orbit following SPIRAL code are described and a number of physics studies performed with the code are presented to illustrate its capabilities. The SPIRAL code is a test-particle code and is a powerful numerical tool to interpret and plan fast-ion experiments in tokamaks. Gyro-orbit effects are important for fast ions in low-field machines such as NSTX and to a lesser extent in DIII-D. A number of physics studies are interlaced between the description of the code to illustrate its capabilities. Results on heat loads generated by a localized error-field on the DIII-D wall are compared with measurements. The enhanced Triton losses caused by the same localized error-field are calculated and compared with measured neutron signals. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) activity such as tearing modes and toroidicity-induced Alfvén eigenmodes (TAEs) have a profound effect on the fast-ion content of tokamak plasmas and SPIRAL can calculate the effects of MHD activity on the confined and lost fast-ion population as illustrated for a burst of TAE activity in NSTX. The interaction between ion cyclotron range of frequency (ICRF) heating and fast ions depends solely on the gyro-motion of the fast ions and is captured exactly in the SPIRAL code. A calculation of ICRF absorption on beam ions in ITER is presented. The effects of high harmonic fast wave heating on the beam-ion slowing-down distribution in NSTX is also studied. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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