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A Kalman Filter for Active Feedback on Rotating External Kink Instabilities in a Tokamak Plasma

Hanson, Jeremy M.

The first experimental demonstration of feedback suppression of rotating external kink modes near the ideal wall limit in a tokamak using Kalman filtering to discriminate the n = 1 kink mode from background noise is reported. In order to achieve the highest plasma pressure limits in tokamak fusion experiments, feedback stabilization of long-wavelength, external instabilities will be required, and feedback algorithms will need to distinguish the unstable mode from noise due to other magnetohydrodynamic activity. When noise is present in measurements of a system, a Kalman filter can be used to compare the measurements with an internal model, producing a realtime, optimal estimate for the system's state. For the work described here, the Kalman filter contains an internal model that captures the dynamics of a rotating, growing instability and produces an estimate for the instability's amplitude and spatial phase. On the High Beta Tokamak-Extended Pulse (HBT-EP) experiment, the Kalman filter algorithm is implemented using a set of digital, field-programmable gate array controllers with 10 microsecond latencies. The feedback system with the Kalman filter is able to suppress the external kink mode over a broad range of spatial phase angles between the sensed mode and applied control field, and performance is robust at noise levels that render feedback with a classical, proportional gain algorithm ineffective. Scans of filter parameters show good agreement between simulation and experiment, and feedback suppression and excitation of the kink mode are enhanced in experiments when a filter made using optimal parameters from the experimental scans is used.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Thesis Advisors
Navratil, Gerald
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2020