Theses Doctoral

Study of kink modes and error fields through rotation control with a biased electrode

Stoafer, Christopher Charles

Experimental studies of MHD modes, including dynamics and stability, using a biased electrode for rotation control on the High Beta Tokamak –- Extended Pulse (HBT-EP) are presented. When the probe is inserted into the edge of the plasma and a voltage applied, the rotation of long-wavelength kink instabilities is strongly modified. A large poloidal plasma flow results at the edge, measured with a bi-directional Mach probe with changes in edge kink mode rotation at different biases. This poloidal plasma rotation cannot fully account for the large mode rotation frequency on HBT-EP. By including the electron fluid motion, the mode rotation predictions agree with measurements, indicating that the modes travel with the electron fluid. A GPU-based digital feedback system is used to adjust the probe voltage in real time for controlling both the plasma flow and mode rotation. This active mode rotation control is desirable because it allows for MHD stabilization, as well as studies under conditions of varying mode rotation rates. Mode dynamics were studied using various diagnostics to understand how plasma conditions fluctuate during mode activity and to understand the interaction of the bias probe with the plasma during this activity. Phase-dependent mode behavior was observed, especially at slow mode rotation, which might be attributed to an intrinsic error field or a nonlinear interaction between the bias probe and the mode. Applied resonant magnetic perturbations were used to study the dynamic response of a stable plasma with different mode rotations. At slower rotation, the plasma had a greater response to the perturbations and the plasma reached a saturated response with large perturbations, similar to previous results. At large positive biases, the probe current induces a torque that opposes the natural direction of mode rotation. By applying a sufficiently large torque, a transition is induced into a fast rotation state (both mode and plasma rotation). High poloidal shear flows at the edge were measured in this state, similar to conditions in H-mode plasmas on other devices. The bias required to induce the transition is shown to depend on an applied error field. A technique was established using this transition to determine the natural error field on HBT-EP.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Thesis Advisors
Mauel, Michael E.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
December 18, 2015