Multimode Structure of Resistive Wall Modes near the Ideal Wall Stability Limit

Jeffrey Peter Levesque

Multimode Structure of Resistive Wall Modes near the Ideal Wall Stability Limit
Levesque, Jeffrey Peter
Thesis Advisor(s):
Mauel, Michael E.
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Permanent URL:
Ph.D., Columbia University.
This thesis presents the first systematic study of multimode external kink structure and dynamics in a tokamak using a high-resolution magnetic sensor set. Multimode effects are directly measured, rather than inferred from anomalies in single-mode behavior. In order to accomplish this, an extensive set of 216 poloidal and radial magnetic field sensors has been installed in the High Beta Tokamak -- Extended Pulse (HBT-EP) device for high-resolution measurements of three-dimensional mode activity. An analysis technique known as biorthogonal decomposition (BD) is described, and simulations are presented to justify its use for studying kink mode dynamics in HBT-EP data. Coherent activity of multiple simultaneous modes is observed using the BD without needing to define a mode structure basis beforehand. Poloidal mode numbers up to m=8 are observed via sensor arrays with full 360 degree coverage. Higher poloidal mode numbers are suggested by the data, but cannot be well-resolved with the available diagnostics. Toroidal mode numbers up to n=4 are observed. Non-rigid, multimode activity is observed for coexisting external kinks having m/n=3/1 and 6/2 structures. Despite sharing the same helicity and same resonant surface, rotation of 6/2 modes is independent of 3/1 mode rotation -- the n=2 mode does not simply rotate with double the frequency of the n=1 mode. During periods of 3/1-dominated activity, the 6/2 mode is observed to modulate the 3/1 amplitude, and in brief instances can overpower the 3/1. Statistical analysis over many shots reveals the multimode nature of the 3/1 kink to be more significant when the resonant q=3 surface begins internal, then is ejected from the plasma. This inference is based on the relative amplitudes of secondary modes during 3/1-dominated activity, as well as spectral content of the modes. Conformal conducting wall segments were also retracted away from the plasma surface using low-order poloidal and toroidal asymmetries to excite measurable differences in low m- and n-number modes. Kink mode amplitudes increase as the wall segments are withdrawn, and non-symmetric wall configurations modulate the amplitude and frequency of the rotating modes depending upon their toroidal orientation with respect to the non-symmetric wall. Modulations of mode amplitude and rotation are larger for the toroidal wall asymmetry than for the poloidal wall asymmetry.
Plasma physics
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Suggested Citation:
Jeffrey Peter Levesque, 2012, Multimode Structure of Resistive Wall Modes near the Ideal Wall Stability Limit, Columbia University Academic Commons, http://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:14171.

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