Tearing mode dynamics in the presence of resonant magnetic perturbations
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Magnetically confined fusion (MCF) plasmas are typically subject to several unstable modes. The growth of one mode can limit the plasma energy confinement and might cause a termination of the plasma. Externally applied resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) are used to control and to mitigate some of the unstable modes. Examples are, mitigation of edge localized modes and steering of neoclassical tearing mode position for stabilization by electron cyclotron current drive. Consequently, use of RMPs are considered necessary in planned future fusion machines. There are however negative consequences, the RMP interaction with a tearing mode (TM) of the same resonance can cause deceleration of the TM and possibly wall-locking. If a TM is non-rotating relative the machine-wall, it can grow and degrade fusion plasma performance and lead to a plasma disruption. Thus, all fusion confinement machines want to avoid wall-locked modes. Resonant magnetic fields can also be present in the form of machine-error-fields, which can produce the same effects. Clearly, it is of importance to understand the TM-RMP interaction. Typically, the modes with long wavelength are described by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory. Considering the finite plasma resistivity, MHD predicts a mode that tears and reconnects magnetic field lines, called a tearing mode (TM). TMs occur at surfaces where the magnetic field lines close on themselves after a number of (m) toroidal and (n)poloidal turns. These surfaces are resonant in the sense that magnetic field and helical current perturbation has the same helicity, which minimize stabilizing effect of magnetic field line bending. In this thesis, the mechanisms of TM locking and unlocking due to external resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) are experimentally studied. The studies are conducted in two MCF machines of the type reversed-field pinch (RFP): EXTRAP T2R and Madison Symmetric Torus (MST). The studied machines exhibit multiple rotating TMs under normal operation. In EXTRAP T2R TM locking and unlocking are studied by application of a single harmonic RMP. Observations show that after the TM is locked, RMP amplitude has to be reduced significantly in order to unlock the TM. In similar studies in MST unlocking is not observed at all after turn-off of the RMP. Hence, in both machines, there is hysteresis in the locking and subsequent unlocking of a tearing mode. Results show qualitative agreement with a theoretical model of the TM evolution when subjected to an RMP. It is shown that the RMP cause a reduction of TM and plasma rotation at the resonant surface. The velocity reduction is opposed by a viscous torque from surrounding plasma. After TM locking, relaxation of the whole plasma rotation is observed, due to the transfer of velocity reduction via viscosity. This results in a reduced viscous resorting torque, which explains the observed hysteresis. The hysteresis is further deepened by the increase in amplitude of a locked mode.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Universitetsservice US AB , 2016. , vii, 44 p.
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2015:112
Tearing mode, plasma, fusion, reversed-field pinch, RFP, magnetic, confinement, resonant, perturbation, magnetohydrodynamics, MHD, EXTRAP T2R, Madison Symmetic Torus
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180058ISBN: 978-91-7595-812-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-180058DiVA: diva2:891693
2016-01-29, Seminarierummet, Teknikringen 31, KTH, Stcokholm, 13:15 (English)
Cecconello, Marco, Associate Professor
Brunsell, Per, Professor
QC 201601112016-01-112016-01-072016-01-11Bibliographically approved
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