The Joint European Torus (JET) high resolution Thomson scattering (HRTS) system measures radial electron temperature and density profiles. One of the key capabilities of this diagnostic is measuring the steep pressure gradient, termed the pedestal, at the edge of JET plasmas. The pedestal is susceptible to limiting instabilities, such as Edge Localised Modes (ELMs), characterised by a periodic collapse of the steep gradient region. A common method to extract the pedestal width, gradient, and height, used on numerous machines, is by performing a modified hyperbolic tangent (mtanh) fit to overlaid profiles selected from the same region of the ELM cycle. This process of overlaying profiles, termed ELM synchronisation, maximises the number of data points defining the pedestal region for a given phase of the ELM cycle. When fitting to HRTS profiles, it is necessary to incorporate the diagnostic radial instrument function, particularly important when considering the pedestal width. A deconvolved fit is determined by a forward convolution method requiring knowledge of only the instrument function and profiles. The systematic error due to the deconvolution technique incorporated into the JET pedestal fitting tool has been documented by Frassinetti et al. [Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83, 013506 (2012)]. This paper seeks to understand and quantify the systematic error introduced to the pedestal width due to ELM synchronisation. Synthetic profiles, generated with error bars and point-to-point variation characteristic of real HRTS profiles, are used to evaluate the deviation from the underlying pedestal width. We find on JET that the ELM synchronisation systematic error is negligible in comparison to the statistical error when assuming ten overlaid profiles (typical for a pre-ELM fit to HRTS profiles). This confirms that fitting a mtanh to ELM synchronised profiles is a robust and practical technique for extracting the pedestal structure.
American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2016. Vol. 87, no 1, 013507