Identification of the beta limit in ASDEX Upgrade
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Tokamak plasma is a subject of various resistive and ideal MHD instabilities which restrict the operation space of the device. For largest fusion outcome, it is preferable to operate the tokamak close to the stability limit with maximal possible pressure characterized by the value of normalized beta, , and thus maximal fusion power .
In ASDEX Upgrade, the limit for maximal achievable is typically set by the resistive instabilities (tearing modes). If these instabilities are overcome or prevented, higher values of the normalized beta can be reached limited by the onset of the ideal kink instability. The actual limit depends on several factors, including the stabilizing influence of the conducting components facing the plasma surface. At present, the wall elements are far from the plasma and the stability boundary is expected to be close to the “no wall” limit (no stabilizing wall effect). Investigation of maximum achievable βN values for the different operation scenario in ASDEX Upgrade is presented in this work. Two indicators are used to detect the stability boundary:
Increase of the resonant field amplification (RFA)
Onset of the ideal kink mode
Recently installed internal active coils are used to probe stability of the plasma by the RFA technique. A wide range of different MHD diagnostics are used to identify the behaviour and structure of MHD modes in different discharges with high . Experimentally obtained results are compared with the results of the numerical modelling with linear MHD codes CASTOR-FLOW and MARS-K. Such comparison allows to validate the plasma model used in the codes and therefore to make numerical projection for further experimental studies.
ideal kink modes