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Millimeter-wave imaging of magnetic fusion plasmas: technology innovations advancing physics understanding


Electron cyclotron emission (ECE) imaging is a passive radiometric technique that measures electron temperature fluctuations; and microwave imaging reflectometry (MIR) is an active radar imaging technique that measures electron density fluctuations. Microwave imaging diagnostic instruments employing these techniques have made important contributions to fusion science and have been adopted at major fusion facilities worldwide including DIII-D, EAST, ASDEX Upgrade, HL-2A, KSTAR, LHD, and J-TEXT. In this paper, we describe the development status of three major technological advancements: custom mm-wave integrated circuits (ICs), digital beamforming (DBF), and synthetic diagnostic modeling (SDM). These have the potential to greatly advance microwave fusion plasma imaging, enabling compact and low-noise transceiver systems with real-time, fast tracking ability to address critical fusion physics issues, including ELM suppression and disruptions in the ITER baseline scenario, naturally ELM-free states such as QH-mode, and energetic particle confinement (i.e. Alfvén eigenmode stability) in highperformance regimes that include steady-state and advanced tokamak scenarios. Furthermore, these systems are fully compatible with today's most challenging non-inductive heating and current drive systems and capable of operating in harsh environments, making them the ideal approach for diagnosing long-pulse and steady-state tokamaks.

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