Characterization of onset of parametric decay instability of lower hybrid waves
Author(s)Baek, Seung Gyou; Bonoli, Paul T.; Parker, Ronald R.; Shiraiwa, Shunichi; Wallace, Gregory Marriner; Porkolab, Miklos; Takase, Y.; Brunner, Daniel Frederic; Faust, Ian Charles; Hubbard, Amanda E.; Labombard, Brian; Lau, C.; ... Show more Show less
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The goal of the lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) program on Alcator C-Mod is to develop and optimize ITER-relevant steady-state plasmas by controlling the current density profile. Using a 4×16 waveguide array, over 1 MW of LH power at 4.6 GHz has been successfully coupled to the plasmas. However, current drive efficiency precipitously drops as the line averaged density (n̄ e ) increases above 10[superscript 20]m[superscript −3]. Previous numerical work shows that the observed loss of current drive efficiency in high density plasmas stems from the interactions of LH waves with edge/scrape-off layer (SOL) plasmas [Wallace et al., Physics of Plasmas 19, 062505 (2012)]. Recent observations of parametric decay instability (PDI) suggest that non-linear effects should be also taken into account to fully characterize the parasitic loss mechanisms [Baek et al., Plasma Phys. Control Fusion 55, 052001 (2013)]. In particular, magnetic configuration dependent ion cyclotron PDIs are observed using the probes near n̄[subscript e]≈1.2×10[superscript 20]m[superscript −3] . In upper single null plasmas, ion cyclotron PDI is excited near the low field side separatrix with no apparent indications of pump depletion. The observed ion cyclotron PDI becomes weaker in inner wall limited plasmas, which exhibit enhanced current drive effects. In lower single null plasmas, the dominant ion cyclotron PDI is excited near the high field side (HFS) separatrix. In this case, the onset of PDI is correlated with the decrease in pump power, indicating that pump wave power propagates to the HFS and is absorbed locally near the HFS separatrix. Comparing the observed spectra with the homogeneous growth rate calculation indicates that the observed ion cyclotron instability is excited near the plasma periphery. The incident pump power density is high enough to overcome the collisional homogeneous threshold. For C-Mod plasma parameters, the growth rate of ion sound quasi-modes is found to be typically smaller by an order of magnitude than that of ion cyclotron quasi-modes. When considering the convective threshold near the plasma edge, convective growth due to parallel coupling rather than perpendicular coupling is likely to be responsible for the observed strength of the sidebands. To demonstrate the improved LHCD efficiency in high density plasmas, an additional launcher has been designed. In conjunction with the existing launcher, this new launcher will allow access to an ITER-like high single pass absorption regime, replicating the JLH (r) expected in ITER. The predictions from the time domain discharge scenarios, in which the two launchers are used, will be also presented.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Plasma Science and Fusion Center
AIP Conference Proceedings
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Baek, S. G., P. T. Bonoli, R. R. Parker, S. Shiraiwa, G. M. Wallace, M. Porkolab, Y. Takase, et al. “Characterization of Onset of Parametric Decay Instability of Lower Hybrid Waves” (2014).
Author's final manuscript